HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2008 Bogle Petite Sirah, California (Clarksburg and Lodi). $8.99. 13.5% ABV.

There is nothing “petite” about Petite Sirah except the size of the grapes. (For more information about this varietal, please visit http://www.thefrugalwinesnob.com/?p=481).

We’ve reviewed two Petite Sirahs before: the Guenoc 2008 (linked above), and the Mettler 2005 (http://www.thefrugalwinesnob.com/?p=500). We liked them. They were interesting. But they were contradictory in that their bouquets were entirely different from their tastes. The Mettler had an oaky, dry, full-bodied nose, yet was sweet and very soft on the palate. The Guenoc was also a contradiction: it smelled sweet, yet was completely un-jammy and highly tannic.

We LOVE the Bogle, however. Beyond interesting, its gorgeous, complex, elegant nose matches its gorgeous, complex, elegant flavors; it has a satisfyingly long finish; it is available at the grocery store; and—get this—it’s available for less than $10. Besides being VERY interesting, it’s incredibly delicious, and it doesn’t take much thinking about it to appreciate it immensely. AAAH.

This had the expected deep bluish-purple hue, the blueberry/blackberry flavors, and a touch of oak. I found a hint of licorice, Clark perceived fennel (same essence). It was round and luscious, but brilliant at the same time with a pure, bright, jewel-tone character to its taste—nothing browned-down or mixed or muted or murky about it. I suppose some might mistake this for “simple,” but it isn’t—it is direct and complex all at the same time. And despite the clarity, it also had something earthy and even mushroomy about it. Just incredibly complex and interesting!

How can so many styles come from one grape? Once again, the Frugal Wine Snob is amazed. This wine is now on our list of Go-To wines, both for everyday AND for special occasions.

Bogle’s “Phantom” blend is outstanding as well. We’ll wax eloquent about it soon. (Along with another lovely Petite Sirah, Girard, if we can find it for less than $20. But the Bogle at half the price was just as good, methinks.)

WINEMAKER’S NOTES: Thirty-two years after it was first produced by the Bogle family in 1978, Petite Sirah is today considered Bogle’s “heritage” varietal. Once again the trademark qualities shine through in a wine that is the perfect integration of fruit and oak. Full-bodied on the entry, aromas of black plum jam and toasty oak set the stage for what is to come. Vibrant boysenberries and luscious fruit are framed by serious tannins, while wisps of leather and vanilla seduce just enough. A final touch of acidity finishes the wine with a precisely balanced mouthfeel. Try this unique wine with rich meat dishes of lamb, pork or game and their hearty sauces.

WHAT OTHER REVIEWERS HAVE TO SAY:

“A fragrant, floral version of Petite, with firm but smooth tannins and a core of ripe blueberry and boysenberry flavors that show violet, black licorice and spice details. Drink now through 2019.” Best Value.—Wine Spectator

“Consistency is the difference between great cheap wine and ordinary cheap wine. Two Buck Chuck, for all of its acclaim, does not taste the same from year to year, and its quality goes up and down with regularity. Even better made wines, like Meridian, suffer from this problem. … Bogle’s wines, on the other hand, do not have this problem. I have been writing about cheap wine for almost 20 years, and for almost 20 years I have always depended on Bogle. It has never let me down. The petite sirah ($10, purchased, widely available) is the winery’s showpiece, an outstanding example of the producer’s quality and consistency. It is always clean and always varietally correct, which means it’s not the same thing as a syrah and is not made to taste like one. … Look for berry fruit, a touch of oak, and tannins at the end that give the wine some welcome oomph. … Highly recommended, and the kind of cheap wine that makes writing about cheap wine a pleasure.”—Jeff Siegel, “The Wine Curmudgeon” blog

LABEL NOTES: None.

WEB: www.BogleWinery.com

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