Before I get to the wine review, this is the first Saturday in months that I haven't attended a wine tasting. I couldn't find one in town. I was tempted to go to the locations of my previous regular tastings and sit in the parking lot with a bottle of wine and try to appease Bacchus.
I was fascinated by the label and price of the 2003 Bogel Old Vine Zinfandel. I still can't get over how much I enjoyed Bogel's Petit Sirah, and for $10 this zin looked like a sure bet. Plus, I couldn't recall drinking a wine specifically labeled as "Old Vine", though I see the age of vines mentioned in the fact sheets available from the producer or distributor.
I didn't feel that the wine had a lot of that lovely Zinfandel flavor. It was a little heavy on the tannins and high in alcohol, giving it a harsh, hot feel in the mouth. I liked it better the second day with some heartier food, but I'm still not overly impressed. I don't think that it's designed for the long haul.
So what's the difference between old vines and young vines? It's a complicated question, and I'd suggest that you go here (scroll down about halfway) to read some detailed information on this topic and other traditional wine misconceptions. Basically it doesn't indicate quality on its own; there's a lot of other factors that are far more important than the age of the vines.