Bordeaux Blend Red Wine

A Bordeaux Blend, at its most basic, is any combination of those grape varieties typically used to make the red wines of Bordeaux. The phrase, which seems to have originated with British wine merchants in the 19th Century, relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself (? Wine-Searcher). Far from being an officially defined or legal term, it is almost never used for wine-labeling purposes (although it occasionally appears on back labels). Its equivalent in the United States is Meritage, which is not only legally defined, but also a registered trademark.

Red Bordeaux Blends are known for their powerful structure and deep flavors. Dark fruits and berries such as plum and blackcurrant are commonly used to describe the flavors of red Bordeaux, although there is an unlimited range of terms that have been ascribed to them. Tannins tend to be relatively high in these wines, giving them a firm structure.

Blending red Bordeaux wine

Cabernet Sauvignon is widely accepted as a compulsory component of any Bordeaux Blend, with Merlot following close behind. In fact, the majority of Bordeaux Blend wines are often made exclusively from a blend of these two varieties. The remaining components are Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, used in varying combinations and proportions. Even Carmenere is on the list of possible ingredients, despite being rarely used by modern Bordeaux vineyards (notable exceptions include Haut-Bailly, Brane-Cantenac and Clerc-Milon).

With the global wine industry expanding and developing at pace, the use of the term "Bordeaux Blend" is changing. Although a product of the Old World, it remains a useful concept, allowing the wine industry and enthusiasts everywhere to talk about Bordeaux-style red wines as an international group, irrespective of regionality.

Flexibility and a useful vagueness are key assets of the term "Bordeaux Blend", but are also its Achilles' heel; if it becomes too broad or too widely used it will lose its meaning. Is a Bordeaux Blend still a Bordeaux Blend if it contains Zinfandel, Sangiovese or Syrah? Without a formal definition to go by, the answer to that question lies entirely in the collective consciousness of those who use the phrase. Provided that Bordeaux's vignerons don't discover a new grape variety (Cabernet Sauvignon is only a few hundred years old), the term's definition remains relatively clear.

The red Bordeaux style has reached almost every winegrowing country, with new candidates looking to emulate Bordeaux's success. North and South America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand all have their own expressions of the Bordeaux Blend. Even countries in North Africa and the Middle East produce their own interpretations of the style.

For more information on the various permutations of the Bordeaux Blend, please see Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot, Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc – Merlot.

Food matches for Bordeaux Blend wines include:

  • Steak entrec?te marchand de vin (red-wine sauce and shallots)
  • Grass-fed wagyu rib-eye fillet
  • Roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic
Production by region Expand/collapse

Most Popular Bordeaux Blend Red Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Avg Price
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, France Pauillac 1st 95 $738
Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, France Pauillac 2nd 95 $1,032
Chateau Margaux, Margaux, France Margaux 5th 95 $792
Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Pessac-Leognan 8th 95 $680
Opus One, Napa Valley, USA Napa Valley 10th 94 $416
Chateau Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, France Pauillac 11th 94 $146
Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, France Pauillac 16th 92 $171
Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 17th 95 $767
Chateau Cos d'Estournel, Saint-Estephe, France Saint-Estephe 18th 94 $234
Chateau Leoville-Las Cases 'Grand Vin de Leoville', Saint-Julien, France Saint-Julien 20th 95 $280
Chateau Montrose, Saint-Estephe, France Saint-Estephe 21st 94 $194
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, France Pauillac 23rd 94 $222
Chateau Palmer, Margaux, France Margaux 24th 94 $366
Chateau Leoville Barton, Saint-Julien, France Saint-Julien 25th 93 $116
Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Saint-Julien, France Saint-Julien 27th 93 $130
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Pessac-Leognan 31st 94 $451
Chateau Pichon-Longueville au Baron de Pichon-Longueville, Pauillac, France Pauillac 32nd 94 $187
Chateau Angelus, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 33rd 94 $429
Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy Bolgheri 35th 94 $242
Chateau Talbot, Saint-Julien, France Saint-Julien 36th 91 $90
Chateau Pavie, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 38th 94 $384
Chateau Figeac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 39th 94 $257
Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley, USA Napa Valley 44th 95 $293
Chateau Calon-Segur, Saint-Estephe, France Saint-Estephe 49th 93 $146
Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol, France Pomerol 52nd 95 $287
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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