Bordeaux Style Reds
You may be thinking, why have blends? Well, blending started as a winemaking necessity that became a distinctive and tasty style in itself. Bordeaux, not unlike most wine regions in New Zealand, has a cool to moderate climate that represents the upper limit to many of these bigger grape varieties. During colder years, Cabernet Sauvignon could fail to fully ripen in the vineyard, so it was blended in with earlier ripening grape varieties like Merlot. This softens any under-ripe green flavours, and creates a softer, rounder, fruitier wine, balancing the often quite astringent structure of Cabernet Sauvignon.
There are no rules on percentages for a finished Bordeaux-style red wine, this will depend on the particular vintage year, and also the style that a winery wants to make.
Bordeaux style red wines, or Bordeaux Blends as we often call them, might be the first thing that comes to mind for most people when asked to think about red wine. That’s because it’s such a classic signature style, one that is steeped in history, made for hundreds of years by Premier Cru Château in France like Chateau Haut-Brion (which is the oldest known luxury brand in the world). As a result, Bordeaux Blends have conquered the world, and in New Zealand our wineries are making Bordeaux reds that are turning heads, and many are rivalling those made in France - at a fraction of the price!
So, you have to try out some of our gorgeous Hawke's Bay and Waiheke Island Bordeaux-style reds; from the amazing rustic wines from Paritua winery in Bridge Pa, the classy Te Motu and Stonyridge on Waiheke Island that are manifesting French Premier Cru quality to our side of the world. There are many others; Alpha Domus, Man O’ War, Tantalus Estate, Trinity Hill, to name a few. Special mentions must also go to Hans Herzog’s Spirit of Marlborough, and Pegasus Bay in Waipara, for their Bordeaux-style reds in the cooler South Island.