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Bordeaux Blends

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine ...

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired 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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red 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 Secret

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.

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    Joseph Phelps Insignia 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    • W&S92
    4.4 45 Ratings
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    Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Dominus Napanook Vineyard 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • JS95
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    • WW91
    • CG90
    4.2 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    Chateau Pavie 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Palmer 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Les Charmes-Godard 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Francs, Bordeaux, France
    • JS90
    • WW90
    3.8 33 Ratings
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    Orin Swift Cellars Papillon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • WS91
    4.6 5 Ratings
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    Chateau Lynch-Bages 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Episode 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Arkenstone Obsidian 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Hestan Vineyards Stephanie Proprietary Red 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Blankiet Paradise Hills Vineyard Proprietary Red 2012
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
      • RP96
      • JS93
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      Sur de los Andes Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Premium Blend 2012
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
      • WE92
      3.9 21 Ratings
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      Milbrandt Sentinel Red Blend 2012
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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      Steven Kent Lineage 2012
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
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        Aresti Family Collection 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Curico Valley, Chile
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        Anthonij Rupert Optima 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Franschhoek Valley, South Africa
        • JS93
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        4.6 7 Ratings
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        Chateau de Fieuzal 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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        Chateau Montrose 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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        Vilafonte Series M 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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        Bernardus Marinus Estate 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Carmel Valley, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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        Brancaia Ilatraia 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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        4.6 7 Ratings
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        Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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        4.5 24 Ratings
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        Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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