A So-So Merlot

Tonight’s wine is a Bogle merlot, 2001 vintage. This is another “value” wine; I think my parents brought it over one weekend.

This wine is a dark red-purple color in the glass. The nose is predominantly oaky with some earthy undertones, though it only develops after a bit of swirling. A sip of this wine immediately presents a healthy mouthful of tannins, paired with a strange and somewhat unpleasant alkaline tang. In fact, that mouth-screwing flavor seems to take over any other character to this wine; it’s very hard to discern much else. After a lot of tasting, I detected a bit of fruitiness; perhaps a bit of tart plum, with a vanilla/oaky finish. I know that vanilla is generally how one characterizes the flavor imparted by oak barrels during the aging process, but some wines seem to exaggerate this trait; this is one of them, I think.

If there wasn’t so much tannin in this wine, it would be a decent table offering for everyday use. As it is, though, I’m not impressed. It looks like this wine is available for $10 or so; it’s probably worth that price, but not much more.

Note: A second glass was more eager to present its fruity notes. There’s definitely some plum in there, which is actually quite good; however, it takes quite a while for the fruitiness to develop, by which time the alkaline nature comes on strong. Still not ecstatic about this wine.

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