The Wine Idiot Reviews: Bogle Essential Red, 2014 ($8.99)
I have to admit to an unfair prejudice. I hate buying wines at Trader Joe's that I also see at every grocery store, liquor store, Cost Plus, and BevMo. When I buy something I've never seen before at TJ's, I get this frisson of excitement that this might be one of those bottles--you know, the steal-of-a-deal bottles that, if you're lucky, Gil Lempert-Schwartz has seen fit to review. But if Ralph's and Vons and the liquor store at the corner have ALSO decided to carry it, it's probably not a hidden gem. It's just cheap wine.
Which is the mindset I was in when I picked up this bottle of Bogle Essential Red. It was my first foray into the world of Bogle wines, and I'll admit I was lured by the label. It's got a neat little charcoal sketch of a tree. Seemed artsy and rustic, kinda. I dunno. I liked it.
Anyway. My hopes weren't high when I poured a glass to take a photo, then walked over to the desk to grab my journal for note-taking. When I headed back towards the table, I was ready to write my first note:
"Wow does that smell jammy from across the table."
Yeah, it was just like surprisingly strong-smelling. Weirdly, when I stuck my nose inside the glass, it smelled less fruity? It was just unexpected. As was the drinking experience, which I described thusly:
"Definitely tastes fruity, smooth, but not sweet and also not crappy."
Like I said...I had low expectations. So I was pleasantly surprised by the plummy-berry fruit flavor that perked up into a little spicy halfway through. And I sorta cringed waiting for that biting-on-a-penny finish of so many middle-of-the-road cheap reds, but it didn't show up! It just kinda...ended. In a nice way.
It's been a really long time since I've had tasted the now-ubiquitous Apothic Red, but I think I actually prefer this red blend. For a cheap, down-the-middle, easy-drinking wine that you can get nearly anywhere, this ain't half bad. (And I would absolutely recommend this over that Menage a Trois crap, seriously don't buy that stuff.)
What the bottle says: "Rich, ripe, luscious, and juicy. This compelling red blend brings together the best of Old Vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah. Unlike anything we've made before..."
What the Wine Idiot says: Oh sure why not.
Who's responsible for this? Vinted and bottled by Bogle Vineyards, Clarksburg, CA
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes.
What do smarter people say about it? WHOA, Wine Enthusiast gave it 90 points!!! I have to admit, I wasn't that impressed. But at least I agree with what they said: "A sleek texture and delicious, focused fruit flavors like cranberry and black cherry make this full-bodied wine mouthfilling and compelling. It offers density and richness, too, which helps extend the lightly sweet finish." However, both my spellchecker and I disagree that "mouthfilling" is a word. They also list the price at $12, so you save $3 buying at Trader Joe's!
Should I bring it to a friend's house? I guess so. I mean, I was gonna say I think you can do better? But if smooth juicy red blends are your jam (GET IT? JAMMY??), this is apparently a great buy.