Bordeaux Blends The Fab Five With so much history under its belt, it's no wonder that Bordeaux has figured out the recipe to produce amazing wines. Centuries of making (and drinking) wine led to the blend that has become synonomous with Bordeaux. Winemakers in the New World replicate this formula to create successful blends in their respective regions - you may see Bordeaux blends from the US labeled Meritage (rhymes with heritage). The name defines American wines made from Bordeaux grapes.
Notable Facts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. These five red grapes are the components of a classic Bordeaux blend. Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot usually play the lead role, while Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot act as the supporting cast. These three grapes help to add color, structure and body in varying amounts. A Bordeaux blend typically, but not exclusively, uses at least three of the five grapes to be labeled as such, but many wines in Bordeaux and else where stick to just two. The beauty of the blend? Each year the percentage of each grape in the blend can vary and the winemaker can include more of the variety that excelled in that particular vintage.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Bordeaux, California, Australia, Washington
Learn More About Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Soft, elegant, feminine… these are words often used to describe the wines of Margaux. The commune is different from its northern neighbors of the Haut-Médoc in both geography and style. Home to the name-sharing premier cru, Margaux lays a few marshlands south of St.-Julien.
As in other Medoc appellations, Cabernet Sauvignon leads the blends of the region, but the percentage of Merlot in Margaux's wines is higher than other left bank communes. Add that to a diverse soil, lighter than that in the north, and you have a softer, more voluptuous wine. In the best years, wines of Margaux are delicate, elegant and refined - structured, but not austere. Chateau Margaux is, of course, a first growth and a highly esteemed and sought-after wine. Chateau Palmer, a third growth, is also well-respected and often commands prices equivalent of first growths. Look for Cru Bourgeois if you want to try the finesse of Margaux at a lower price.