Monday, February 5, 2024

Too Big, Too Bold, Too Brawny: Bogle's Not-So-Essential Red

The Bogle family has farmed the California delta region for six generations, 50 years now in the effort of growing wine grapes. Like a lot of farming families in the area, they started out selling their fruit to others, then got wise and started turning their grapes into wine themselves. 

The 2020 Essential Red is a California red blend of four grapes: 53% Petite Sirah, 23% Syrah, 16% Teroldego and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged for a full year in American oak barrels. Alcohol is right where one would expect it to be, 14.5%. Essential Red sells for $10 or less. The Bogle website suggests making a mulled wine of it. I am not a fan of such, but it does seem to be a good use for this bottle, as bold and brawny as it is. 

This wine is quite dark and quite aromatic. The nose would be fruit-forward if the oak spices weren't so strident. The big display shows dark fruit - plum, blackberry and black currant - carried along by a huge whiff of clove, cedar, tobacco, cardamom and several other occupants of the spice rack, I'm sure. The palate is similarly blessed, or handicapped, depending on your own view of oak treatment. The oak in this wine is heavy-handed and best suited for blunt-force trauma. That is disappointing, since I have long been a fan of Bogle's wines. I’ll stick with their other offerings in the future. 

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