Grape Madness Round #1: Bogle vs. Ravenswood

 Grape Madness Round #1: Blind Tasting Grape Madness Round #1: Bogle vs. Ravenswood
The second showdown in the Trader Joe’s bracket of the inaugural Grape Madness tourney was the (2) Bogle Old Vine Zin ($10) vs. the (3) 2006 Ravenswood Vinters Blend Zin ($8).

Once again if you need a refresher on the rules you can find a recap here. The main one two keep in mind here, per the picture above, that these were tasted blind (again I know… single blind). Here is what I had on my mind before the bottles hit the table:

  • Bogle: Coming fresh off my experience with their Petite Sirah I immediately had title hopes for this one. Can it deliver?
  • Ravenswood: Lots of people really like this wine. While it’s nice I’ve never understood the allure. I thought going blind would be a good way to see if this could rise beyond the mediocrity (meant in a good way, this is not a bad wine) I had permanently affixed to it.

With pregame covered let’s get to the main event. Here is how it went down on twitter:

jasonswineblog: Game 2 of #GrapeMadness has tipped off. The Ravenswood (nose) is showing nicely and grabbed an early lead 5-4 with 18:25 left in the 1st.

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Bogle has responded with a balanced (fruit) attack, this one is back and forth. Bogle leads 14-12 with 14:09 left in the 1st

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Evenly matched though Ravensood is starting to fall apart on (the finish) defense. Bogle is up 39-36 with 0:38 left in the 1st

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Ravenswood comes out a bit sour, Bogle is shooting silky smooth and jumps to a lead early in the 2nd with 15:45 remaining

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Ravenswood is hanging tough but feeling the heat (on the finish). Can’t seem to close the gap, 64-58 6:02 left in the 2nd

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Looks like the Bogle has too much character to let this one slip away. A rich, hearty effort. They lead 77-71 1:15 left to go

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness The Bogle was too complex (smooth, dark rich fruit) for the Ravenswood to masks its flaws (tart, thin finish) Bogle wins 83-78

This one was tight down to the wire but when the buzzer blew and smoke cleared the Bogle was headed for a second round match up with the Rosenblum. I’ll finish with a quick review of each:

2006 Ravenswood Vinters Blend Zin ($8): This one starts off nice on the nose and the palate before it falls apart on the finish bringing loads of heat. This quickly disappeared when paired with the turkey meatloaf on the table. What it left behind was a nice smooth, chalky wine with bold fruits but now instead of the hot finish you find it unexpectedly tart and thin, even a bit acidic. For $8 I’m trying something else. If you are a Ravenswood fan don’t let that sway you as I have yet to “connect” with their wines. Rating: 12th bottle

2006 Bogle Old Vine Zin ($10): As far back as the nose I noted that this one showed more range and character than the other wine that was on the table in a brown bag. On the palate it continued to distinguish itself being smooth and well balanced. The mouth-feel was silky with dark, rich fruits with earthy (almost dirt-like) notes. The finish is bold with heavy notes of plum and lasts nicely. You can count me a fan but at ten bones I’m not buying more than a bottle at a time. Rating: Pricey

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5 thoughts on “Grape Madness Round #1: Bogle vs. Ravenswood

  1. You commented about a Trader Joe’s post I had a while ago, but I just now got a chance to check out your blog. I added your RSS feed to my Google Reader, but I wish I would have looked sooner. It looks like you’ve got some good posts.

    Both of these wines you have here I really like. Tough decision in this bracket…

    Have you seen these wines?

    I like the artist, but haven’t tried the wines. I think they will sell fast because James Jean is pretty hot right now.


  2. @Matt Thanks for the compliment as well as adding me to your RSS. As for this match-up I know many that enjoy Ravenswood but while always being “nice” it has never moved the needle for me. Hadn’t seen those wines, little on the pricey side for me. Looks like the wines are Australian?

  3. I ended up buying the wines I commented on your post about, but I got them as a collector though because I like the artist. Definitely on the pricey side, I agree. I probably won’t open them.

    I see what you mean with your Ravenswood comment, but it’s a good ‘grab when there is nothing else’ wine. I’ve been drinking a lot of Bogle Petit Syrah lately. Good stuff…


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