Region: Clarksburg, Lod, Monterey, CA – USA
Cost: $10 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: On the nose, notes of tea leaf, cherry cola, and earth tones add richness and depth to the first impression of the wine. Bright cherry, red currant, and ripe fig mingle with toasty herbal tones, all combining to create a silky smooth mouthfeel. To perfectly compliment the fruit, the wine was aged in American oak for 12 months, creating firm tannins that balance the supple and lingering finish. Our 2011 Merlot can easily be enjoyed on its own or with a multitude of different food pairings: soft cheeses and pate’, pork or pasta dishes. Your imagination should be limitless…
My Review: Merlot was, for a time, a grape that I was wary of. Not because I didn’t enjoy Merlot, but because for a while I found that it was one of the few exceptions to my general rule of not judging a wine by how much it costs. For a stretch a few years back I found that the more I paid for a bottle of Merlot, the higher quality I got, which in turn meant I didn’t drink a bunch of Merlot because there were plenty of value wines out there that I preferred.
All that changed roughly two years ago when, during the Annual Virginia Wine Expo, I tried, and was impressed, by a bunch of reasonably priced Merlots. Since that time I’ve noticed an overall trend towards quality, affordable Merlot, which the 2011 Bogle Vineyards Merlot continues.
The nose of the wine flashed a nice mix of herbal, earthy notes (I won’t go so far as to call it tea leaf like they did, but certainly in that realm), and dark fruit. Dark in the glass, the wine was surprisingly lighter than I expected, though still well within what I would call medium-bodied. Good dark fig and earth notes jumped out and me, and I was impressed with how smooth the wine was on the finish.
We paired the wine with a dinner of pan-cooked pork chops, fingerling potatoes, and brussel sprouts, which I thought the wine paired great with. The earthy notes complimented the vegetables well, and the fruit went well with the seasoning and juiciness of the pork. Even after the meal was done the wine was great for sipping on while watching TV.
Bogle has quickly been growing on me as one of my go-to budget wines, offering great value for my dollar. While you’ll only pay -$10 for this wine, it certainly drinks like something that you’d pay $15-20 for, which puts it firmly in the “buy” column for me. It’s not something that I would open for a special occassion (birthday/Valentine’s Day/anniversary), but on a Thursday night after work, it was exactly what I wanted – a good wine with some character that I could have paired with a variety of dishes.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.