United States > California > Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel

Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel


Country: United States
Region: California
Producer: Bogle
Grape variety: Zinfandel
Vintage: 2009
Found at: Superstore, Co-op Wines and Spirits, Willow Park Wines and Spirits
Price: $16.69 – $19.99

About the region
: For those of us (like myself) who have only been drinking wine for the past 15 to 20 years, it is difficult to imagine the extend to which the production of quality wine has increased in California over the past several decades. Up until the mid 1960’s, California mostly produced high-volume, low-quality jug wines. Much has changed since then and today California produces some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Once several pioneers started producing higher quality wine, it took some time for California to overcome its less-than-stellar reputation though. The turning point came in 1976, when California’s red and white wines beat France’s top wines in a blind tasting conducted by 10 French judges, now known as the “Judgement of Paris”.

Today, high-quality wines are produced all along the Californian coast from a wide range of grape varieties. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find good value, as producers are prone to increase prices once their wines catch on. As an example, Screaming Eagle was first released in 1992 for $50 per bottle. After years of rave reviews from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, the wine has steadily increased in cost and now sells for $1,500 per bottle.

About the wine: The Bogle family started out as corn and sugar beet farmers in 1850’s. In the 1970’s they started planting grape vines, initially selling their grapes to other winemakers before launching the Bogle brand in 1979. The brand has grown tremendously since then under the leadership of husband-and-wife-team Chris and Patty Bogle. Since their passing, the winery has been run and continues to grow under their children’s leadership. Although Bogle produces wines at high volumes, quality is consistently high.

Zinfandel has long been regarded as California’s “own” grape variety. DNA research has shown it to be identical to Primitivo though, which is traditionally grown in Southern Italy. The challenge with Zinfandel is that it ripens unevenly, so as a bunch of Zinfandel grapes approaches ripeness, some grapes will be ready for picking while others will still be green. This is mitigated as the vines get older, which explains the prevalence of “old vine” zinfandel. There is no legal definition of what constitutes an “old vine” though, so buyer beware.

Bogle’s Zinfandel shows ripe berry flavors: savory blackberry, plum, and raisin, combined with black pepper and smoky cedar. There’s a hint of black tea as well. It’s medium-bodied with smooth tannins and medium acidity to balance it out.

In Susanne’s words: Fruity and not upsetting.

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2 Comments

  1. United States > Oregon > Rosé of Pinot Noir « 1855consulting
  2. United States > California > Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon « 1855consulting

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