For son Ryan's birthday we ordered bar-b-q from Q Bar-b-q in Naperville - slabs of ribs and pulled pork. We prepared our own sides, mac and cheese, corn, and brussel sprouts in a cranberry sauce. To compliment the meal we pulled from the cellar two Bogle Zinfandels - Phantom and Essential Red. Zinfandel was the perfect compliment to the tangy, sweet and spicy bar-b-q variations.
Bogle Vineyards "Phantom" Red Wine Blend 2009
We rediscovered this wine a couple years ago at the Saturday afternoon tasting at Main Street Liquors in Lagrange, IL. They were serving it because it was the highlight of an earlier tasting they conducted. I was looking for a Zinfandel or Rhone style blend for our Thanksgiving dinner at the time and picked this up. Its always good to have a few Zins in the cellar for bar-b-q. This is a unique blend of Zinfandel and Rhone varietals sourced from the California central valley and Sierra foothills - 52% Zinfandel from Lodi, 46% Petite Sirah from Clarksburg, and 2% Mourvedre from Amador County. This is a lot of wine for the money rendering a high QPR - Quality to Price Ratio for this wine that is available between $15 and $20.
This was complex cacophony of full forward fruits of blackberry, black raspberry and briary boysenberries giving way to layers of black licorice, tones of creosote, black pepper and hints of dark chocolate, juniper and cedar on the finish. It needs a big food to balance its bold forward fruits and lively acidity.
RM 88 points.
A blend of Old Vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, this wine would be a great blind tasting candidate with its bright, lively forward complex fruits.Dark purple/garnet colored, the fruits are vibrant but nicely balanced, smooth and approachable. I felt the polish and approachability of this wine actually overshadowed the bigger, more complex more expensive Phantom.
Bogle 'Essential Red' Zinfandel Blend 2012
Ripe intense flavors of boysenberries, cherry and black raspberry, with tones of vanilla and mocha, black licorice and spicy pipe tobacco on the moderate oaky tannin finish. This is currently widely available at under $14 and offers fabulous QPR - Quality-to-Price-Ratio. Go out and pick up a bunch for beef, bar-b-que, pasta and pizza. While it has forward fruits, it has a nice polish and balance suitable for many combinations. Great for every day drinking.
RM 89 points.