No wine region has influenced the world’s red winemaking more than Bordeaux, primarily through its grape varieties, which are planted universally, but also through its winemaking process and its love of blending.
Here is a very good cross-section of reds under the influence, some from Bordeaux itself others from South Africa, Italy, California, Mendoza, and even Long Island.
2012 Flora Springs Napa Valley merlot ($25) - This is a very fruit-forward wine, a little sweet in effect, with a touch of smokiness and fresh cranberry and raspberry flavors. Like a lot of fruit-forward reds, it could use a bit more balance with tannins and acidity for a more satisfying finish.
2011 Concannon Livermore Valley reserve cabernet sauvignon ($34) - A complex wine from one of Livermore’s old-line brands; lots of fresh cassis and blackberry notes with the juiciness of fresh-picked blackberries lingering on the palate but with a pleasant closing crispness.
2010 Sequoia Grove “Cambium” Napa Valley red blend ($125) - A wine meant to be enjoyed with a rare beef filet, it is well structured and still quite tight out of the bottle, but loosens up in the glass to reveal great complexity, ripe blackberry flavors, hints of chocolate, and smooth walnut-flavored tannins. Decant it first, or, better still, let it age for a few years in the cellar.
2012 Route Stock “Route 29” Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon ($21) - If there is a Rhône side of cab, this is it; mainly plummy fruit with earthy, savory notes and baker’s chocolate in the finish.
2010 Baron de Luze Bordeaux rouge ($14) - Tart blackberry flavors with a lean, bacon-flecked finish and a good mouth feel. A nice food wine.
2010 Château de Sours “La Fleur d'Amélie” Bordeaux rouge ($15) - Good merlot fruitiness with a pleasant savory finish.
2013 Achával Ferrer Mendoza malbec ($23) - Dark cherry and blackberry flavors come together with an enjoyable, tart edginess, medium body, and a hint of chocolate in the finish.
2013 Achával Ferrer Mendoza cabernet sauvignon ($26) - A good food wine; more tart than lean with blackberry flavors, a touch of chalkiness, and fine tannins.
2010 Macari North Fork cabernet franc ($31) - Year in and out, Macari makes some of the best North Fork of Long Island reds, this one a smooth blend of ripe blueberries and blackberries with a long finish and a nice leanness at the end.
2012 Mulderbosch “Faithful Hound” South Africa red blend ($20) - A pleasurable mutt-like blend of the two cabernets, merlot, malbec, and petit verdot, it exhibits dark cherries, tobacco, nice tannins, and a little heat at the end.
2011 Monteverro “Terra di Monteverro” Toscana red blend ($62) - With a lineup of Bordeaux varieties, this rosso gives more bang for its euros than most such blends. Lots of ripe cherries with a lot of good astringency to reign in the fruit, although there is a nice dollop of fruitiness in the aftertaste. My Pick of the Litter.