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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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    Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Avignonesi Desiderio (1.5 L) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS93
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    Chateau Monbousquet 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Franciscan Estate Magnificat 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Les Ormes de Pez 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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    • RP88
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    Merryvale Profile 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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  • Hogue Fruit Forward Cabernet-Merlot 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Chateau Margaux (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    • WS93
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    Harlan Estate 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    • RP94
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  • Powers Cabernet-Merlot 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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  • Greg Norman Estates Coonawara Cabernet-Merlot 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
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    Estancia Meritage Red (375ML half-bottle) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from California
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  • Chateau d'Armailhac (375ML half-bottle) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau d'Armailhac 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Conn Creek Anthology 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Banfi Excelsus 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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    Peter Michael Les Pavots (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    Chateau Moulin Saint-Georges 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Potensac 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Red 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
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  • Chateau Cap de Faugeres 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
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    Rust en Vrede Stellenbosch Estate Red Blend 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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    St. Clement Oroppas 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Girard Napa Red 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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  • Chateau Griffe de Cap d'Or St. Georges 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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