Wine review: Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2009

image from www.boglewinery.comThis is my gift to the California wine industry. Taste this, and you’ll see what great cheap wine should be.

This is not surprising, of course, to anyone who has been paying attention. Bogle has long been one of my favorite producers, and it has been in the $10 Hall of Fame for as long as there has been a $10 Hall. But given how California wants to make cheap red wine so that it tastes like slightly sweet grape juice with too much alcohol, I figured I’d better make the point again.

First, what doesn’t the Bogle ($10, purchased, widely available) have? It doesn’t have that cough syrupy sweet fruit that is all the rage. The alcohol isn’t so overwhelming that that you feel it coming out of your nose. What does it have? Enough blueberry fruit  to be noticeable, but not so much as to overpower the wine. A beginning and an end, including some very zippy tannins and a little earthiness — again, something not only rare in $10 wine, but especially these days, as winemakers try to make red wine taste as fruity as possible at the expense of everying else.

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Highly recommended, and one of the best California red wines I’ve had in years. Embarrassingly better. This will earn Bogle a special citation when the 2012 Hall comes out in six weeks, and you could do much worse than to serve it at Thanksgiving. Much, much worse — as, sadly, too many will do, seduced by scores and descriptors that make them think the wine tastes better than it does.

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I have a variety of Thanksgiving wine suggestions on my wine blog (plus a great picture of a turkey). Enjoy the holiday.

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