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The great potential of South American Bordeaux blends: 22 essential wines

Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have a shared formula for fine wines, taking inspiration from the Bordeaux tradition. These wines are excelling today, thanks to increasingly refined winemaking methods and exceptional vintages.

The course of the leading wine-producing countries of South America was set in the second half of the 19th century. It was determined both by the arrival of French varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon especially – and the savoir-faire of European immigrants.

Meanwhile winery owners would often travel to Bordeaux to learn from the leading châteaux there.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 22 top South American Bordeaux blends

The early stages of South American viticulture were thus inspired by the grands crus classés, although over time, each country has developed its own formula for its Bordeaux blends. While sticking mainly to Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenère), they have also allowed themselves a little creative license.

South America has enjoyed some of the best vintages in its history – especially 2018, 2019 and 2021. In addition, winemakers have applied unprecedented levels of precision in terms of terroir selection, vineyard management, harvest times and oak regime, using much-improved materials, and a range of formats and sizes.

Top 22 South American Bordeaux blends

Related content: 

South American Cabernet Sauvignon: setting the standard

Amanda Barnes: My top 10 South American wines of 2021

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