18 December, 2019
Experience the Phantom Wine Story in Your Glass and On Your PhonePosted in : Chardonnay, Red Wine, White Wine, Wine on by : The Gourmez
Can you sense it? That faint wisp of an unseasonal mist? The tortured scream of someone who’s blood-red drops have run dry?
Oh, that’s just me, finishing off my samples of Bogle’s Phantom Wine, website here. Obligatory Disclaimer: “Wine sample” means these wines were free for my review.
Sure, it’s almost Christmas, but that’s no reason to leave these wines behind with those blustery fall nights. Especially not here in northern California, where Halloween temperatures linger for months. Heck, I still have dill sprouting in my backyard. And as I just discovered on my first visit to San Jose’s Christmas in the Park, Day of the Dead Christmas trees are totally a thing, so . . .
. . . there is absolutely no reason you should view these wines as a Halloween-only novelty. I first said yes to this review, however, back when that haunting spirit was still in the air. I received the wine shipment before this year’s Tricking and Treating and shared a few pictures of me celebrating with some friends.
I also agreed to the review because I was intrigued by the tie-in augmented reality app, which Bogle Vineyards has developed for consumers to “experience the Phantom story.” You can download the app for free on your phone, then use it to scan your wine’s label, whether the Phantom Chardonnay or Red Blend.
Then the fun begins. The app creates a legitimately creepy atmosphere. You must complete a few easy puzzles with your phone first to unlock the stories. Here’s me demonstrating how, though I apologize for how long it took me to get the compass’s arrow situated just right—it’s not easy shooting video on one phone while using an app on another!
Once the puzzles are complete, you can view a few beautifully shot ghost stories as told by Bogle’s own employees, with actor reenactments. The Phantom line of wines was inspired by both the Bogle brand’s history (bogle is a variant of bogey and boggart) and the supernatural experiences some of their employees and members of the Bogle family have had at the Clarksburg property. How fun to engage with anytime of the year!
So do the wines deliver as well as the app? They won’t spook your taste buds, that I can promise. The 2015 Phantom Wine Red Blend offers a soft floral and strawberry nose despite its deep inky coloring beckoning you into the abyss. The wine goes down smooth as a ghost’s caress, though those prickly bits of spice kick up along with your arm hairs, bringing in anise, cardamom, and clove. The mouthfeel is a bit chalky, but the blueberry and black raspberry notes are plenty juicy. Rhubarb and cranberry mist a twist of tanginess. The wine gets livelier and less smooth as it communes with the spirits.
The 2017 Phantom Wine Chardonnay gives off a nose of aloe, pine, guava, and honeysuckle. Those yield a great blend on the palate, with lots of juicy fruit on the edge of crispness and ripeness. Pear and apple add to the bouquet. A vanilla backbone ties those elements together with lime rind and a tiny hint of cinnamon—I was so pleased, I forgot to make my tasting notes haunting.
Enjoy! And maybe go check out the phantom for yourself on a trip out to Bogle’s Clarksburg tasting room at the family ranch, just to the south of Sacramento. Bogle Family Vineyards was named Wine Enthusiast‘s American Winery of the Year for 2019, after all.
Phantom Chardonnay tasted 25 November 2019. Phantom Red Blend tasted 29 October 2019.