Wine Wednesday: Bogle Essential Red

This week’s featured wine is from Bogle vineyards. I have tried a few Bogle wines in the past, the Bogle Merlot in particular is a standout, and notable because I like it (I’m generally not a fan of Merlot.) So when I saw this wine on the shelf for $11, it looked like a safe bet.

And THAT, my friends, is an understatement: Bogle Essential Red is one of my new favorites. What a great wine this is! A fantastic blend of Old Vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, Essential Red drinks like a much more expensive wine. I did a little research on Bogle Vineyards, and this wine draws primarily from the Sacramento Delta area: Clarksburg and Lodi. Extremely old vines and very hot summers make for a great Zin, which is the backbone of this blend.

This wine looks great in the glass: a rich, red garnet. It’s got wonderful blackberry, boysenberry, and plum flavors. With many less expensive California blends, that’s all you get – but this is much more complex than that: you’ll taste raisin, which reminds me of a nice Amarone. There are hints of dark chocolate and mocha that balances any overarching sweetness. For an $11 wine, this also has a longer finish than I expected. It’s just the right amount of oak and spice without any lingering over-ripe taste in your mouth.

This post was initially going to be a head-to-head battle with a similar wine; my wife and I had been picking up Gnarly Head Authentic Red, and thought it was pretty decent. But after tasting Essential Red, it was really no contest, and I decided it deserved its own review.

Truthfully, I was stunned that this wine was selling for less than $20. Don’t tell Bogle, but this easily tastes like a $30 bottle of wine, so buy it now before they get wise and raise the price!


4 corksOn my 5-cork scale based on taste and value, I give the Bogle Essential Red 4 corks! 


Brian Demay



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