The American red blend has been getting a good deal of attention lately, including here at VinePair. But did you know that one of the OG red blends is from Bordeaux, where they’ve been blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, and other varieties for ages?
I was reminded of this as I tasted an excellent Bordeaux blend that shows the value and complexity you can find in the under-$20 category from the world’s most famous wine region. Château Bellegrave’s 2018 Médoc is a blend of four varieties: 56 percent Merlot, 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 percent Petit Verdot, and four percent Malbec.
The Médoc is the largest wine district within Bordeaux and is on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary. Wines labeled simply “Médoc” are from the northern part of the area, while the smaller and more famous appellations such as Margaux, St.-Julien, and Pauillac are in the southern part of the region known as the Haut-Médoc, or upper Médoc.
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Bellegrave’s Médoc is a prime example of the countless good wines you can find from Bordeaux at highly affordable prices, a fact that is still lost on many wine drinkers. Bottle for bottle, the wines have more dimension than most similarly priced red blends from California.
The 2018 Bellegrave Médoc has red fruit aromas and tastes, including cherry, raspberry, and cranberry, along with mocha, balsamic, leather, and gunflint notes. Partially aged in oak barrels, it has a refined tannic structure even in its youth and is drinking beautifully right now.
This is a versatile wine for a variety of meat, chicken, and vegetable dishes, one that demonstrates why it’s well worth discovering (or rediscovering) affordable Bordeaux for everyday drinking and beyond.