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.
Opus One OvertureBordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Pindar PythagorasBordeaux Red Blends from New York, Other U.S.
Geyser Peak Reserve Alexandre Meritage 2007 3-PackBordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
Soter Vineyards Proprietary RedBordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Marietta Arme Lot 3Bordeaux Red Blends from North Coast, California
Cain Cuvee NV13Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Cain Cuvee NV12Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Opus One 6-Pack Mixed Case (OWC-2x1979, 4x1980 - corroded capsules)Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Ashes & Diamonds RougeBordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Weinert Corte ClassicoBordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
Tomasello Winery American ClaretBordeaux Red Blends from Washington
Cain Cuvee NV15Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Barnard Griffin Cabernet-MerlotBordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
Cain Cuvee NV 1Bordeaux Red Blends from California
Cain Cain CuveeBordeaux Red Blends from California
Cain Cuvee NV14Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Cain Cuvee NV 4 (scuffed label)Bordeaux Red Blends from California
Mano's SF Giants Red BlendBordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
Cain Cuvee NV11Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Cain Cuvee NV 5 (Partially Detached Label)Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Gundlach Bundschu Bearitage Lot 9Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
Mano's LA Dodgers Red BlendBordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
Mano's Oakland A's Red BlendBordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
Cain Cuvee NV 9Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Chateau Pontet-Canet Mixed Case (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France