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Rich in colour and bursting with plum and cherry fruit, this velvety California merlot also offers a little sweet anise and vanilla on the finish.
Product Code: US8941
View all products by Bogle
In the mid-1960s the Bogles took their century-old family heritage in farming in a new direction and planted their first 20 acres of vines along the banks of the Sacramento River at Clarksburg in California. Thanks to this effort by Warren and Chris Bogle the family was set on a path that has seen them grow in to one of the state’s most noted wineries. Today, those 20 acres have become more than 1,500 acres and the Bogles are just as closely involved as ever. Currently the 6th generation of the family are running things in the shape of Ryan and Warren Bogle and Jody Bogle Van de Pol, with Warren, the grandson of the vineyard’s founder, taking care of viticulture across the numerous vineyards they own near their home at Clarksburg as well as others around the state, and reaching as far south as San Luis Obispo halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. All are sustainably farmed. Winemaking is overseen by someone who has his own long history with the Bogles, Eric Aafedt, who has been with them since 1994.
The US wine industry was shaken by Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, and though there were some post-Prohibition producers of note it was not until the 1960s that a number of new kid-on-the-block winemakers began to explore and demonstrate the true potential of its regions.California was the first new world region to be recognised internationally as a source of top-quality wines. The late Robert Mondavi is credited with educating Americans on the benefits of good wine and good food, and the pristine, visitor-friendly wineries in California, particularly in Napa, are now the model for wine tourism across the world. California has been stereotyped as a producer of big, blockbuster-style reds and fat, oaky whites, and while these wines do exist, elegance and subtlety also play their part, helped by the cool Pacific winds and fog that blow in from the west and are sucked into the valleys by the warm air there, with a cooling effect on vineyards as far as 50 miles inland. These fogs burn off in the heat of the morning sun so there is no risk of Sauternes-like botrytis here.The most appetising styles come from these cooler regions close to the cold Pacific inshore currents or linked to it by valleys that allow the passage of its moderating influence. Soils across California are varied and wines are made on many different latitudes along its length so this Pacific air conditioning system is perhaps the key defining feature of viticulture in the state. For example, the state’s Central Valley, a fertile agricultural heartland where citrus, orchard fruit and many other crops are grown, receives hardly any of this influence and is better known as a bulk producer of grapes for so called jug wines or the very big wine brands. Napa and Sonoma are two regions that dominate Californian wine, but other regions have gained an excellent reputation, particularly those south of San Francisco, such as Paso Robles, Monterey, Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Maria Valley, the last of which is closer to Los Angeles than it is San Francisco but where there are vineyard areas cooler than in the Napa Valley thanks to that Pacific influence. California's star red grape varieties are cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel, with good support from pinot noir, chardonnay and a number of Rhône varieties, too, though there is a willingness to experiment and many more varieties are coming on stream.The majority of wine-producing areas are now regulated by a local appellation system called AVAs or American Viticultural Areas. These AVAs are not as stringent in their controls on vine growing and wine production as those of the European Union, specifying only the geographical location of the area in question and requiring that any wines labelled as AVA must be made using 85% of grapes from that area. No limitations are imposed on the grape varieties grown, the yields produced, or how they are made into wine. To qualify for AVA status petitioners must show that the area under consideration is well known, that there are distinct climatic and geographical features that set it apart and that the boundaries have a historical basis. This is clearly no appellation controlée system as they have in France but it is a beginning.
"Very full on red wine, jammy at first but this dissipates as the complex fruit cedar and smokiness come through. Nothing like a French Merlot, more like a Chilean but even more so. Sweeter then a Zin. Approach with caution, but good."
I would recommend this wine
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"This wine is the [very good], fruity on the nose but perfectly balanced on the palate"
Mr Gary Cox (28-Apr-2019)
"This wine has a very smooth finish lovely and velvety, well worth a try, a new favourite."
Mr James Brent (10-Feb-2019)
"Very smooth and satisfying."
Dr Peter Chester (04-Dec-2018)
"Lucky enough to try this the other night. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Agree it's not your average Merlot but I personally don't think that detracts from the experience. It reminded me, and my company, of a big Tuscan as it had the gravitas and density that made you sit up and notice. Strong notes of oak, plum and vanilla for me. The only aspect that made this a 4/5 for me over a 5/5 was the fairly strong alcohol taste you were left with after each sip. If the tannin's had been a little denser maybe this would have masked this more.
But believe me, you soon get over this and enjoy it for the great bottle it is. Don't compare it with a French Merlot, it would be like comparing a classic Coupe with an all American 4x4 pick up truck. Both equally fun to drive but completely different.
Note: I in no way condone drink driving."
Miss Polly Wakefield (03-Sep-2018)
"Well not like any other Merlot I have drunk. I think it is overcooked but is not totally unpleasant!! If you like zinfandel you may like this but if it is merlot you are after - look elsewhere!!!"
Mr Robert M Parsons (15-Aug-2018)
"The colour is a little thin. The nose has an astringent quality, there is no fruity opulence here. The acidity is clear but with little to balance the harsh palate. A dry year in California presented as excellent by US representatives (mistakingly conveying the impression that low yields indicate high quality) this wine is out of kilter and suggests a proactive approach to wine-making - industrial and harsh. Not worthy of the Wine Society's attention and calls into question their wisdom in not just selecting it but promoting it as a good buy. It may have 'cooked' on its voyage. Avoid (along with its stable mate the Cab)."
Mr Fabian Russell-Cobb (16-Jul-2018)
JancisRobinson.com (30th Aug 2018)
"This is the
best-selling merlot in the USA, apparently. Smells of stars and stripes!
Super-oaky and very sweet-fruited with entirely rounded tannins, a bit of smoke
and a finish that is dry despite all that ripeness. Yee-haw!. - Richard Hemming"
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