If mediocre wines are capable of teaching us anything it's the importance of having a Plan B. After a strong local retailers' recommendation for 19 Crimes, an Australian blend of Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cab, etc. to accompany grilled bacon cheddar burgers, into my basket it went. Almost as an afterthought, I also grabbed a bottle of the current vintage of Phantom, Bogle's higher-end powerhouse blend.
Alas, the 19 Crimes is proof that Australia has jumped on America's most troubling of trends: off-dry reds. My personal thoughts on the societal impact of these focus group wines is well-known to regular readers, so it's no surprise how pissed I get whenever I've been duped into buying another overly extracted, syrupy, candy-like tanks.
After twice validating the above conclusion (including winces from my wife), I uncorked the Phantom and gave thanks for having had that impulse in the check out line. So, the...
2010 Bogle Phantom Red Wine $20
There's nothing new to report here, which is to say that, once again, Bogle has packed this blend with density, tension, grip, and vigor - just as it does in every other year. The consistency is beyond admirable and puts this wine into a risk-free category which few $20 wines occupy. Is it any coincidence that it shows up on shelves just before Halloween? Who knows and who cares - I'm just glad it's back on shelves. And thank goodness for a Plan B.
And thanks for your patience everybody - it's been a long couple of months, but I'm excited to be back.