2006 Bogle Phantom

Just in time for Halloween.
Year in, year out, we wait for this wine to hit the market. Then, just as quickly as it appears - and like it's name would have you believe - it's gone again.

Last year we managed to put our hands on a half case before seeing supply dry up. And fast. This year delighted retailers have several cases on hand and, no surprise, they're moving quickly. Not sure why it appears to be more available. It could be the loud complaining many smaller shops did when last year's paltry allocations were redirected to larger outlets.


Known predominately for respectable quality at reasonable prices (think $9-12), Bogle steps out with this flagship product. The quality is head and shoulders above any of their regular bottlings - and that's saying something.

Bogle winemaker Chris Smith tells us that 2006 was a bigger vintage than 05, tipping the scales at upwards of 10,000 cases. Quality has not suffered as a result of the increase. Fruit was sourced from a combination of estate fruit and from growers in Clarksburg, Lodi, and Amador.

Though the 2005 was rounder in its fruit flavor and immediately accessible in a candy-for-adults kind of way, the 06 does not disappoint. It's still got tons of body, structure, and in-your-face personality. Made of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Mourvèdre, the 06 is built with a slightly restrained exuberance and a bit more finess than the 05. And it will likely age better than the 05, if you can control yourself for that long.

Good luck with that.

We paid $19.99 for this bottle and haven't seen it for less than $17.99 anywhere. You really can't go wrong with pretty much anything these guys turn out, but this one really stands out. (So does this one.)

Rating: Yummy, buy at least a few, act quickly.