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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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    Hogue Cabernet-Merlot 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE88
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.14
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    13 49
    12 14
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    Chateau de Pez 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
    • WE87
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.49
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    37 49
    37 49
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS97
    • WE95
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $408.97
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    408 97
    408 97
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    DeLille Chaleur Estate Red 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE93
    • RP90
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    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    74 99
    74 99
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS97
    • WE95
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    Currently Unavailable $799.97
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    799 97
    799 97
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    DeLille Harrison Hill Red 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE92
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    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    59 99
    34 99
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    Sena 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
    • WE92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $67.49
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    75 99
    67 49
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  • Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Reserve 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE92
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    Currently Unavailable $43.19
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    47 99
    43 19
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    Merryvale Profile (torn label) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.97
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    99 97
    99 97
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    Guenoc Langtry Meritage 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from California
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    49 99
    44 99
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    Dry Creek Vineyard Meritage 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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    Currently Unavailable $25.64
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    28 49
    25 64
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    Hedges Family Estate Three Vineyards Red 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.84
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    16 49
    14 84
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    Tenuta Guado al Tasso 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
    • RP94
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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    129
    129
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia (3 Liter Bottle) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS97
    • WE95
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $2,499.00
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    2,499
    2,499
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    Merryvale Profile (3 Liter Bottle) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $399.00
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    399
    399
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    Iron Horse T bar T Benchmark 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $50.39
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    55 99
    50 39
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