Learn about Bordeaux Blends — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired red blends, have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux Blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux Blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.
- Cabernet Sauvignon270
- Bordeaux Red Blends197
- Pinot Noir141
- Other Red Blends80
- Rhône Blends18
- Tuscan Blends8
- Cabernet Franc6
- Petite Sirah6
- Other Red Wine4
- Pinot Meunier2
Chateau Margaux 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Latour (stained label) 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Chateau Lafon-Rochet 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Petrus 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Clerc Milon 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Carruades de Lafite 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Opus One (375ML half-bottle) 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Chateau Haut-Batailley 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Rol de Fombrauge St. Emilion 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Dominus Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Phelan Segur 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Calon-Segur 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Bernadotte 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Potensac 1996Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France