Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Bogle Phantom

Another in my series of “Hallo-Wines” is Bogle Phantom. Especially this time of year, this one is hard to miss in stores. Available just about everywhere, with a spooky image of a ghostly smoke creature on the label, this wine looks perfect to bring to a Halloween party…but how does it taste?

First, a little history. Without the Bogle family, there probably would not be Clarksburg viticultural area. Six generations of Bogles have farmed the land just south of Sacramento, producing moderately priced but well-rated wine since 1968. It is still run by the Bogle family, bucking the trend of California wine families selling their operations to multi-billion dollar corporations. Somehow this tight-knit clan has grown their family winery into the 20th largest wine company in America, producing nearly a million cases of wine each year, and praised by Wine Enthusiast as one of the top 20 “value wineries” in the world. Almost all of the Bogle wines sell for less than $20, so it’s always been on my radar, but their Phantom brand stands out from the rest.

What’s interesting about this blend is that it’s never the same year-to-year. Whichever grapes they feel best about, they put in Phantom, so you never know what you’ll get until you pop the cork that year! The 2015 Phantom is almost a 50/50 mix of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, with lesser amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and I really like it. This is always a bold red, but the 2015 is big and plush with flavors of spicy black plums and berries, and a dark chocolate mocha finish that was a very pleasant surprise.

On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, the 2015 Bogle Phantom gets a solid four corks! It’s available everywhere for less than $20, and as low as $15 on sale. It’s my favorite Hallo-Wine so far this year, a solid value, which is a Bogle hallmark.

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Eighteen, the Radisson Cincinnati Riverfront Hotel’s rotating steakhouse in the sky! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!

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