Monday, 1 February 2010

Bogle Merlot

I love the movie Sideways, but what I love almost as much is the bewildering fact that sales of merlot dipped following its release simply because the film's main character, Miles the socially inept oenophile, declares at one point: "I am not drinking any fucking merlot". Having tried a bottle of Bogle I can assert with confidence that I shall be drinking a lot more fucking merlot.

For me, the m-word on a bottle is a reliable indicator that its contents are full-bodied and smooth, but 
recently, since I began my foray into riojas, I've also become conscious of the cloying richness of some of them.

Then, while in Texas over the new year, I found a bottle of 2007 Californian Bogle Merlot, abandoned unfinished by relatives who had to catch a plane. Generally, in my experience, unfinished bottles are unfinished for a reason, the reason being that they are bad. But this Bogle was not bad, except in the Michael Jackson sense of the word.

To start, the tobacco aromas are welcoming. The wine itself is full bodied, of course, with sweet cherries, but it's also a little spicy. Unlike many merlots I've tried, the richness here is largely held in check by a toasty oakiness that I found surprising and appealing.

Also appealing was the price - about $7 (£4.30) - and after finishing the bottle we hunted down another to smuggle back to Europe. I've since found Bogle for sale in the UK, but inevitably, and depressingly, it costs more than it should. Still, anyone eager to try a more interesting merlot might want to give it a punt regardless (pairs well with re-runs of Sideways).

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