The abundance of red wine as a staple in California is really a throwback to the past when wineries would make standard “red table wine” and fill jugs with it. Names like Cribari, Gallo (before it got in to the varietal business), Angelo Papagni and C.K. Mondavi all had a bevy of reds they just “jugged up” and peddled.
Today the consumer is a lot more savvy, and that approach no longer works. That explains why shelves are becoming filled with such things as Apothic Red, Old Patch Red, Big Red Monster and even something called Ruddy Red, which seems like Red Redd to me. Oh well.
One of these really cool and alluring red offerings is Bogle’s 2011 Essential Red, from a winery that always hits the value mark. This bluish red-colored wine is a sexy blend of Old Vine zinfandel, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah.
The wine surpasses all expectations, considering the $11 asking price. I found the aromas to show off some cocoa, sweet cherries, boysenberry and vanilla, which normally means there’s some American oak at play.
The juicy, not sweet flavors are thumping and fresh, with indications of anise, sweet pipe tobacco and black fruit, all coupled with a nice fat mouth feel. Jump on this now as the price will be moving north in a few months.
This wine would go well with pizza, stews, burgers and grilled steak. If your wine place can’t find it, have the manager contact Vintage Wine in Columbus.
Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile’s, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.