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Bordeaux Blends

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

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 (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
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    • RP96
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    • WW96
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    Chateau de Landiras 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Graves, Bordeaux, France
    • D95
    • WW93
    3.8 548 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    Chateau Castera 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • D97
    • WW92
    3.6 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    Chateau Montrose 2010
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
    • RP99
    • D98
    • WS97
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    • WW96
    4.3 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $289.99
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    Tour Saint Christophe Les Terrasses de Saint Christophe 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • D95
    • WW92
    • JS90
    3.8 118 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • WS95
    • RP94
    • D94
    • WW93
    4.4 37 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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    Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • WE96
    • JS94
    • D93
    • WW93
    • RP92
    • TP92
    • WS91
    • JD91
    4.4 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $52.99
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    Justin Isosceles 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WW92
    • WE91
    4.6 19 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
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    • V97
    • WE96
    • WW96
    4.4 88 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $209.99
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    Chappellet Mountain Cuvee 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    4.0 31 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
    • WW90
    3.3 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    Chateau Haut-Bergey 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • WW92
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    • WE91
    • JS90
    3.9 36 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    Trefethen Dragon's Tooth Red Blend 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    4.5 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    Decoy Red 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    4.1 25 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    Mount Veeder Winery Reserve Red 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    • WW91
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    Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    • CG93
    • WE92
    • JS91
    4.5 11 Ratings
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    Chateau Haut-Brion 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • V97
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    • WW95
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    Santa Rita Triple C 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • WW91
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    Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
    • WW89
    3.8 18 Ratings
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    Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Proprietary Red Blend 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • V94
    • WW94
    4.0 15 Ratings
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    Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion (375ML half-bottle) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
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    Duckhorn The Discussion 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    • JS92
    • WS91
    4.7 7 Ratings
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    Salentein Numina Gran Corte 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
    • WW91
    • WS90
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    Chateau Haut-Bailly 2010
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • JS98
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    • WS95
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    Currently Unavailable $179.99
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    Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Proprietary Red Blend (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
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    Currently Unavailable $129.97
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