The 2009 Bogle Essential Red is a blend of old vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah sourced from contract vineyards in several California grape growing AVA’s. Bogle also makes the Phantom Red blend which is one of the best under $20 blends on the market. The Essential Red was produced with younger wine drinkers in mind, Millennial’s like their wine sweeter than older wine drinkers, who equate sweet Red wine with low quality wines. Bogle’s PR department wanted a sweeter Red to allow them to tap into the Millennial market and Bogle’s winemakers were not all that crazy about making a sweet wine. After much discussion, they ended up with a wine that was ripe and juicy, if not exactly sweet. This wine was aged for 18 months in French and American oak barrels and the alcohol content is 13.5%. You should be able to find the Essential Red for around $10.
The color is very purple, but see thru. The nose is raspberry and strawberry, oak spice, lilacs and cinnamon. A soft, smooth, juicy wine, slightly sweet with a little rough edge at the finish. It starts with ripe blueberry, black Twizzlers (not candy sweet), Hershey Kiss chocolate (again without the sugary sweetness) and red plum. The mid-palate brings a slight bit of texture from the tannins, muted Altoids spice and black cherry. The acidity is well balanced and helps a rather full finish last for a respectable length of time.
The Bogle Essential Red is a very solid sipping wine, it will do well with burgers or the typical tuesday night fare, but is probably better suited for popping the top with a friend or two while watching a movie you picked up from Red Box. I know I am mixing apples and oranges, but the Essential Red reminds me of the Australian Shiraz’s that were everywhere a few years back. Rich and juicy, full bodied, but where the Aussie Shiraz’s hit you with a blast of spice, the Essential Red gives you a touch of spice for a bit of contrast. All in all, a very solid $10 (give or take a buck or two) Red blend.