Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

"Bordeaux Blend" is a term used to describe the composition of many red wines in this most famous of French wine regions. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends are commonly found in "Left Bank" wines from Bordeaux, France. Most wines from the appellations within the Medoc (Pauillac, St. Julien, Margaux, St Estephe etc) and Graves (Pessac Leognan) are produced by blending these two grape varieties in varying proportions where Cabernet Sauvignon is usually the dominant grape. The "Right Bank" appellations (notably St Emilion & Pomerol) tend to use Merlot blended with Cabernet Franc. Single variety Cabernet Sauvignon is rare in the whole of Bordeaux, but 100% Merlot (or 100% Cabernet Franc) are found more often. The "Bordeaux Blend" wines have flavours of blackcurrant and plum with many of the wines seeing long ageing in oak barrels giving high tannins and a note of vanilla. These wines need several years to mature before drinking and, for the top wines, many decades will give the ultimate reward. The style has been much replicated around the world with the USA, South Africa and Australia producing exciting examples. Many "New World" producers often market their wines with a single grape name on the label, but, legally, can often contain small proportions of other grapes, mimicking the Bordeaux character and flavours.

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