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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Are all Bordeaux wines blended?

—Kate M., Silver Spring, Md.

Dear Kate,

Let’s say that nearly all Bordeaux wines are blended, and for the most part, you can be certain that if you’re drinking a red Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style wine, the implication is that it is blended from a selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and/or Petit Verdot grapes (while Bordeaux whites are typically blends of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and/or Muscadelle).

But it’s not required that the wines of Bordeaux are blended, even though that’s certainly the spirit of the region. Unfortunately, it would require some investigating to find out for sure, as the labels rarely indicate what grape varieties are inside the bottle. However, there are exceptions to Bordeaux's blending practice, most notably the highly revered Pétrus from the Pomerol appellation on the Right Bank, which is made from 100 percent Merlot.

—Dr. Vinny

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