Wines are born in the vineyard. Juggernaut was no exception.
For years, Winemaker Eric Aafedt noticed something about the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that were grown and harvested from hillside vineyards.
“These grapes were just full of color and aromatics, intensity and tannins,” says Eric. “All the vines were on hillsides and had to struggle to produce. But that seemed to create some really exceptional fruit.”
Grapes have been grown on mountainous terrain since the beginning of time. Rocky soil with fewer nutrients and less water creates harsh, challenging conditions, stressing the vines but creating grapes of exceptional quality. Eric and the team wanted to showcase what these hillside vines were producing, so they created Juggernaut.
“Our first vintage was a Cabernet, aged in new French oak, which took the intensity of the fruit and transformed it into a dense and velvety wine, full of anise and cassis, and finished with a smooth texture and rich tannins,” says Eric. “But making the wine was the easy part.”
Finding a name and label was a different story. For years, the name “Juggernaut” had been batted around at meetings. With the wine’s style, Juggernaut, defined as “an unstoppable force”, just seemed to fit. Bogle’s production, marketing, and sales teams worked together to find just the right image to represent the bold wine with the unique name. The moment the turquoise-tipped Lion was put on the table, Juggernaut roared to life.
With a limited first release, Juggernaut was well received, but not widely available. Demand quickly outpaced our expectations and we began to explore whether we could make any other wines that are so affected by nature?
The Russian River’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean and its maritime influences offer similarly challenging conditions. Heavy fog makes the vines work hard for every ounce of sunlight and warmth, while the soil composition balances effort with restraint. For years, our Reserve Pinot Noir came from grapes grown in these inhospitable conditions, but it was time to allow the wine to take flight, as our next iteration of Juggernaut. After working with the same artist who drew the Lion, the team was proud to unveil the Osprey. Indigenous to the Russian River, this alpha predator is a take-no-prisoners raptor, perfect to adorn the label for our Juggernaut Russian River Pinot Noir.
Aged in a combination of new and used French oak barrels for 12 months, the wines blooms with aromatics of stargazer lilies, followed by classic cola and cherry notes. Hints of waffle cone, vanilla, and toasty caramel rounds out the finish, a perfect balance of power and grace.