Impossibly Reliable, Redux

Review: 2007 Bogle Phantom

Bottom Line: Outstanding.  More restrained and refined than it's predecessors.  Impossibly reliable. Could be the surest bet for a twenty spot ever. $20

The Rest Of The Story: Our long-running love affair with the Phantom continues.  Background on the wine can be found in our coverage of the 2006 Phantom from this time last year, so we won't bore you with those details.  Instead, let's focus on what's behind the just released 2007 label.

In years past, the Phantom has been a rich, full wine characterized by irresistible brawn, intriguing flavors, and universal likability.  For the highly anticipated 2007 vintage, we see a slight deviation from the formula without going completely off track.

If past vintages were alluring for their seamless integration of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Mourvèdre in a full-frontal delivery, this year's effort will win over new fans by building on that solid framework and adding grace and elegance to the mix.  How Chris Smith delivers such consistent - and increasing - quality at twenty bucks is difficult to fathom.  But why ponder when you can pull the cork instead?

Deep, dark, and brooding color with a nose to get excited about.  Full, rounded flavors with good extraction and balanced acid.  Outstanding.  More restrained, balanced, and elegant than its predecessors, but not lacking in gusto, either

If you've not had the Phantom before, this is the perfect intro to what's possible outside the more famous winegrowing regions and varietals.  And good news - the price remains the same as last year - $20.  Want even more good news?  They've dramatically increased output.  With 50,000 cases of this stuff floating around, it should be much easier to find than in years past.