How To Spot Quality Bordeaux Blends From Poorly Made Ones

Bordeaux blends have long been a popular choice of wine due to their complex and interesting flavor profiles. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between high-quality Bordeaux wines and those which are poorly made.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can spot quality Bordeaux blends from badly produced ones so that you know what to look for when choosing your favorite bottle of red. We will explore key elements such as color, aroma, taste and finish in order to determine whether or not a bottle is worth purchasing.

We will also discuss important factors such as aging potential and production methods so that you can make an educated decision about the best type of Bordeaux blend for your needs. So read on to find out all you need to know about selecting top-notch Bordeaux!


The color of a bordeaux blend can be an indicator of its quality. Generally, high-quality blends will appear deep and dark in hue, with purplish tints around the edges that indicate youthfulness while still having dense legs when swirled in a glass. On the other hand, poorly made wines are usually pale and lack any kind of vibrancy or life to their coloring. They often also have very thin legs, which indicates low viscosity due to poor extraction techniques used during winemaking.

Overall, looking at the color is one way to spot quality bordeaux blends from those that aren’t up to par.

Moving on to aroma – this is another key factor for discerning between good and bad bordeaux blends.


According to research, 91% of consumers are unable to identify the difference in sensory notes between a quality Bordeaux blend and a poorly made one.

In order to spot a good wine from an inferior version, it’s important to understand how aromas can be used as indicators for excellence.

A high-quality Bordeaux blend has intense aroma characteristics that come through on the palate. It should have hints of dark fruits such as black currant, cherry or plum along with elegant floral nuances like violet or lavender. Other scents often found in top wines include tobacco, cedarwood and leather.

On the other hand, low-quality blends tend to have more bitter aromas such as wet leaves or overly ripe fruit.

The key is variety; look for multiple layers of fragrances which add complexity and depth to the olfactory experience. When you take time to closely examine its bouquet, you’ll find yourself able to differentiate between a great bottle and an average one – leading you well into understanding what makes up the taste and finish of each pour.

Taste And Finish

Aromas of a good Bordeaux blend will be complex and inviting. On the nose, you may detect notes of dark fruits such as blackberry, plum or cherry accompanied by hints of tobacco, leather, earthy undertones and subtle spices. It’s important to note that these aromas should not overpower each other nor should they come across artificial.

The taste and finish of a quality Bordeaux blend is just as important in determining its overall quality. The wine should have balanced tannins on the palate with plenty of acidity for structure, complexity and length without being overly acidic. A good Bordeaux blend will also display layers of ripe fruit flavors including blueberry and raspberry along with accents of herbs, cedar wood and mineral nuances.

As it lingers on the palate it should leave a pleasant impression that fades away gracefully.

With appropriate cellaring techniques this type of Bordeaux can become even more rewarding over time as all those distinct flavor components start coming together harmoniously while developing further tertiary characteristics like mushroom, truffle or dried figs which signal an increase in aging potential.

Moving forward we’ll explore how to best store your wines so they can reach their full potential.

Aging Potential

Aging potential is an important factor to consider when determining the quality of a Bordeaux blend. High-end blends are able to stand up over time, developing more complex aromas and flavors as they mature.

Signs of aging potential in a Bordeaux wine include balance between tannins and acidity, moderate alcohol content, dark fruit undertones and complexity on the nose. The structure should be round but firm enough to ensure that the wine will last for many years if stored properly.

Good quality Bordeaux can age quite gracefully with proper cellaring techniques. The flavor profile changes over time and eventually takes on characteristics like leather, dried fruits or truffles which indicate successful maturation. Additionally, the color may become lighter due to oxidation or evolve into brick red hues from extended contact with oak barrels.

Evaluating the aging potential of a Bordeaux blend requires tasting it at various stages of its life cycle. An experienced sommelier or winemaker should be able to accurately assess how well the wine has aged based on these tastings and make educated predictions about what it will taste like after further maturation.

Moving forward, production methods also play a crucial role in producing high-quality wines with long lifespans.

Production Methods

When assessing the quality of a Bordeaux blend, it’s important to understand its production methods.

There are two main types of wine-making that can be used for this type of red: traditional and modern.

Traditional involves using oak barrels and fermenting grapes in vats with natural yeasts.

This method produces wines that have more depth and complexity due to their longer aging process, but they may lack some freshness and fruitiness.

Modern winemaking often uses stainless steel tanks and cultured yeasts, resulting in less time spent aging which gives the wines a brighter flavor profile with more focus on the grape varieties used.

The choice between these two styles relies heavily on the producer’s preferences; however, there are certain subtleties that experienced tasters can look out for when determining if a particular style is well made or not.

For example, traditional reds should show good structure while still having an enjoyable balance between acidity and tannins.

The nose should offer subtle aromas from oak barrel aging such as tobacco, leather, cedar wood, vanilla or spices.

On the other hand, modern blends should give off intense fruity notes without being overly ripe or jammy; aromas of dark fruits like blackberry or blueberry should linger nicely on the palate without overpowering any other flavors present in the glass.

No matter what style you decide to go for when tasting a Bordeaux blend, make sure to pay attention to how expressive each sip is – both in terms of aroma and taste – so that you can accurately determine whether it’s something worth buying again or not.

A great way to do this is by comparing different bottles side-by-side so that you get a better feel for what makes them unique yet similar at the same time.

Taking your time during tastings will help ensure that you end up finding exactly what you’re looking for!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Optimal Temperature For Serving Bordeaux Blends?

When it comes to serving bordeaux blends, temperature is key!

To truly appreciate the taste of a quality blend, you’ll want to ensure it’s served at the optimal temperature.

Coincidentally, that would be between 13°C and 16°C – just above cellar temperature but not so cold as to dull its flavor.

Serving your bordeaux blend at this temperature will allow all of its complex notes and flavors to shine through.

How Long Should Bordeaux Blends Be Decanted For?

Decanting is an important step to allow bordeaux blends to open up and develop their full potential. Generally speaking, these wines should be decanted for at least one hour before serving, although this can vary depending on the age of the wine; younger vintages may require less time while older ones will need more.

Decanting a bottle too soon or too late can result in the flavors being muted or overwhelmed by tannins respectively, so it’s best to err on the side of caution when deciding how long to decant your blend.

How Does The Terroir Of A Bordeaux Blend Affect Its Quality?

The terroir of a bordeaux blend can have a large impact on the quality of the wine.

The soil, climate, and geography all come together to give each bottle its unique characteristics.

These elements determine what grapes are grown in an area and how much flavor they will impart into the final product.

Quality blends often come from regions that offer ideal conditions for growing certain types of grapes, such as Bordeaux itself.

Poorly made wines may not take advantage of these beneficial aspects or could be sourced from inferior vineyards.

How Does The Amount Of Tannins In A Bordeaux Blend Affect Its Taste?

Bordeaux blends are notorious for their high tannin content, which gives them a bold and robust flavor.

Take, for example, the 2015 Chateau Haut-Brion from Pessac Leognan: it is full bodied with firm tannins that balance out its fruity undertones.

This blend’s strong tannic profile helps to give it structure and complexity while also providing an intense yet pleasing finish on the palate.

By understanding how the amount of tannins in bordeaux blends affects their taste and aroma, you can easily distinguish between quality wines and poorly made ones.

Are There Any Health Benefits Associated With Drinking Bordeaux Blends?

Bordeaux blends are known to be some of the highest quality wines, but did you know that they can also provide health benefits?

While moderate red wine consumption has been linked to numerous positive effects, Bordeaux blends contain an even higher concentration of antioxidants. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and protective properties, which may help protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Additionally, drinking in moderation can reduce your risk of stroke or cognitive decline while helping regulate cholesterol levels!



When it comes to spotting quality Bordeaux blends from poorly made ones, the key is understanding what goes into making a good one.

The terroir and tannins play an important role in its flavor profile as well as serving temperature and decanting time.

Taking all of these factors into consideration can help you choose a bottle that will make for an unforgettable experience – both for your taste buds and your health!

To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, remember to ‘think before you drink’, so you don’t end up with something subpar.

With careful selection, there’s no reason why sipping on a glass of Bordeaux blend won’t be truly epic!

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