The Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay 2018 is sourced from 3 locations, the Clarksburg AVA, the Dunnigan Hills AVA, and the Monterey County AVA. Both Clarksburg and Dunnigan Hills are located in the Central Vally AVA, Dunnigan Hills is east of Napa on the other side of the mountains and Clarksburg is west of Lodi in the river valleys that run from the Bays near San Francisco. Monterey is inside the Central Coast AVA, south of San Fransico. Bogle Vineyards is situated in the Clarksburg AVA, they are family owned and operated, the 6th generation working the land and in the wine business since 1968. Clarksburg has traditionally sold a large portion of their grapes to producers in other AVA’s. They are one of the reasons you see California as the place of origin on wine labels if a winery from Sonoma needed to buy additional grapes for a particular label, then North Coast (Sonoma) plus Central Valley (Clarksburg) legally adds up to California on the label.
A quick check of the web showed that the Bogle Chardonnay sells for under $10, I found it on sale for $6.99, but the winemaking details are very sophisticated for this price range. It is basically 2 styles of Chardonnay melded together. 48% of the grapes were fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, this makes a bright, tart, lively Chardonnay. The other 52% was fermented and aged in new American oak barrels. The barrel-fermented and aged portion was also aged “on lees“, which is a fancy name for leaving the dead yeast and maybe grape residue in the barrels during aging. This gives the wine a salty, nutty sensation and depending on how often the lees are stirred, a creamy mouthfeel. They did not mention malolactic fermentation, but that sort of thing is up to the winemaker. So there you have it, a fairly complicated and unexpected Chardonnay (how often do you so an oak barrel fermentation in a sub-ten buck wine?). The alcohol content is a ripe 14.5%.
The Tasting Notes
The color is pale, clear wheat yellow. The nose is melon, lemon, and spice, with green apple, peach, pear, and spring flowers. You can definitely taste the 2 styles of Chardonnay coming together, tart, ripe citrus mixes with vanilla and apple and pear. It tastes of a mix of butter, lime, and pear, followed by spice, and vanilla. The mid-palate adds peaches and cream, along with a salty cashew flavor, and a late splash of juicy apple. The acidity allows the flavors to unfold and the finish is full and long.
- This is one sub $10 Chardonnay that you will need to open a full hour before drinking. Eight months in new American oak barrels is a long, long time in this category, so give the wine time to open up and balance.
- This is a Chard with personality, the unoaked tart citrus, combined with the American oak rounded flavors offers a contrast usually found in more expensive Chardonnay.