Bogle Phantom: Two Vintages, Twice the Mystery

“Wine is better the older it is, right?” I get this question at work. A lot.

I scrunch up my face.  “Well…not necessarily”, I say.

Actually, the majority of wines on my store’s shelves are meant to be purchased (with the help of your friendly, knowledgeable wine specialist), carried home, opened, and CONSUMED! Post haste! Like, immediately!

Our palates are so used to the youthful, ripe fruit, fresh-off-the-shelf style of wine, that many of us might not enjoy an older, aged style of wine.

This is what happens as a wine sits in your basement waiting to be opened:

Tannins found in red wines, and acid found primarily in white wines act as preservatives and slow the oxidation and aging of wines. If a nicely tannic or acidic wine is stored in a cool environment, void of light and vibration, it can quietly age and begin to take on different characteristics. Slowly, red wines lose color, white wines gain color. Fresh flavors of fruits and spices change to show more dried fruits and more savory notes. The tannins and acid begin to soften.

The bright, racy wine we loved and set aside in the basement, can magically change to a softer wine with dried fruit and earthy notes.

So, “not necessarily” is my best answer to that question.

I have several vintages of the Bogle Phantom sitting in my basement waiting for me to pull and drink. To examine this aging process, we poured the 2005 vintage and the most recent release, the 2013 vintage.


The earliest production of Phantom I could find was in 1999. Bogle also produced an equally spooky wine in 2004 named Ghosts Du Roam which was a Rhone varietal blend. This Phantom blend of varietals has changed over the years.  The 2005 vintage was a blend of Petite Sirah, Old Vine Zinfandel, and Old Vine Mourvedre. The 2013 blend combined Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The goal is always the same; a wine of depth, intensity, and mystery.



The 2005 Phantom is garnet in color with a tinge of lighter red and a slightly orange edge. The 2013 Phantom is more youthful, dark purple in color.


The 2005 emits aromas of cedar and dried herbs with cherry liquor and dried fruits.  The 2013 offers fresh herbal aromatic notes with black cherry, vanilla and coffee.

On the palate the 2005 is soft, holding flavors of dried cherry, lots of spicy pepper,  sweet cedar, dried currant and tobacco leaf.  The finish is dry with soft tannins.


The palate of the 2013 is also soft holding ripe black cherry flavors along with fresh herbs, some oak and more fruits of blackberry and black plum.  Tannins are stronger on the finish with notes of dark fruit, tobacco leaf and pepper spice.


It does seem that the 2013 presents ripe youthful fruits while the older, 2005 vintage is filled with more dried fruits, dried herbs and savory notes. Tannins in the 2005 were noticeably softer than the 2013.

I preferred the younger vintage with its ripe fruits for sipping on its own with a piece of crusty baguette. The older vintage with its savory notes, was a much better drink along with our hearty, root-veggie filled beef stew.



Was the older Phantom better than the younger Phantom?  Not necessarily….



Comparing older wines with newer wines;


Sipping with crusty baguettes;

Drinking along with a hearty root-veggie stew.

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