Thursday, November 10, 2005

David Bruce vs Bogle Petite Sirah 2003's Head to Head Wine Review (billy)

I reviewed these head to head this evening. Thanks go out to my local wine store assistant who graciously gave me 1/2 off my second bottle even though she should not have. I bought 2 different bottles of 2003 California Petite Sirah and reviewed them both here for you. Analysis of each, independently is provided and then a summary of the comparison is at the end.

$23 David Bruce 2003 Petite Sirah
Nose: hearty chocolate, jammy plumbs and cracked black pepper. Fruit is noticeable and there are hints of maraschino cherries
Palate: strong tannins at the front with a bit stronger acid at the back. Cherries are front in the mouth.
Finish: not much of an initial finish but quite an apparent “grape stem” flavor is left over (think of what chewing a grape stem tastes like after you eat a green grape

This is not the best value for the money. For much less than 22 you can get a decent Petite Sirah and for about the same you can get a much better one (see the EOS review below)

$11 (down to $5.50 on sale) Bogle 2003 Petite Sirah
Nose: earth and leather with deep dark black cherries. Nearly a Port kind of nose.
Palate: Not nearly as tannic as the DB above, but still a bit acidic near the back of the palate. Massive fruit though. Dark berries and big cherry flavor
Finish: the finish is of medium length and there is a touch of the green stem

Overall for the one time sale price of 5.50 this can't be beat on value. Unfortunately, this deal was brought entirely by the fact that the extremely kind and definitely knowledgeable sales person behind the counter was willing to give me a one time deal.

Head to Head
These wines are studies in how the same varietal from the same year from the same state in the USA (California) can be so different. The David Bruce 2003 Petite Sirah is muted in an attempt at sophistication. It comes off as the wine that tries to be “the expensive one”. It has a hearty complexity that smacks of pretentiousness without ever achieving the desired sophistication. For the money, go with the EOS. The Bogle 2003 Petite Sirah, on the other hand, is more drinkable. The fruit-forward styling makes it easily paired with meals and a decent dinner wine. It is not pretentious and does not try to be. This, I think is the primary differentiator between the two Petite Sirahs reviewed here.

In the final analysis, the David Bruce overreaches and the Bogle meets expectations. If you want to spend the money of a David Bruce, reach instead for the EOS or save a bit and get the Bogle if your wallet demands.

Either way, Raise a Glass!


Anonymous said...

Excellent review!

lee said...

for what its worth, I tried tried the 2004 bogle and the david bruce, (can't recall if it was '03 or '04) last night.

First off my david bruce was $15.99 and the Bogle was $9.99 after a $2 discount on both.

I'm a bit of a novice so I don't have all the wine jargon down. I agree that DB tasted of maraschino cherries, I also tasted peach behind it. It had a very bright taste, if that makes sense. I did not get any of the "grape stem" flavor you reported.

The Bogle seemed very tight. I did not enjoy the first glass at all. It was somewhat acidic. I came back to it about 20 minutes later and some of the fruits began to emerge but they were not nearly as strong as the DB. It was like they were covered up by the acidity.

At this price I would pick the DB over the Bogle every time.

JC said...

I would have to agree with Lee. Bogle is not in the same class with DB. Not that I am a fan of paying more, or of being a snob, but frankly, in my tasting of Bogle I did not have fruity aromas and the taste was quite acidic.
As I paid $10.00 for the Bogle and less than $16.00 for the DB, I would go with the DB. I would bring bogle to a party where after a few glasses of wine most would not know the difference.

Nick said...

I think the bottle of DB that you had may have been slightly off its game. I get none of the "grape stem flavor", but a nice acidic finish with a little bit of black pepper that cuts the juiciness in the front of the palate. DB's Petite Sirah is great.