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bogle essential redHow would my favorite budget winery do when producing my least favorite wine style—budget red blends? Of course some of the best wines in the world are red blends. But what passes for red blends these days on the supermarket bottom shelf are usually syrupy, clunky, candy wines designed for entry level drinkers finding their way past the soda aisle. There is nothing wrong with that but it’s not to my taste.

I ignored this bottling for several years wondering if Bogle had sold out. Happily the answer is no but I retaste it occasionally just to be sure. This blend of Old Vine Zin, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah has ripe blackberry jam, clove, herbal notes and dark chocolate on the nose. In the mouth there is just a hint of sweetness with high toast charcoal, and coffee introducing the weighty midpalate and tannins with some grip propelling a somewhat woody finish. This is sturdy with a very firm texture as it evolves on the palate, even a bit hard for a supermarket wine. It gives the impression of lushness at first but becomes bold and manly as it progresses. Not striving for finesse, this is not my favorite wine style but it is very good at what it does.

Bogle is producing over 2 million cases per year and it’s still growing. They are one of the few budget wine producers that still ages in barrel. This wine does nothing to harm Bogle’s reputation as the quality king of the $10 wines.

Aged 12 months in American and French oak.

Serve with a 36 oz. ribeye and a platter of mountain oysters; and bring the Foo Fighters along.

Score: 88

Price: $10

Alc: 13.5%

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