So the group got together to taste some varieties of boxed wines. I ended up with 7 wines, some to compare varietal against varietal and some just for a range of tastes.
5 liter Almaden Mountain Rhine
5 liter Vella Chardonnay
2008 Black Box Chardonnay Monterey County
3 liter Almaden Merlot California
2007 Black Box Merlot
3 liter Almaden Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon
I reviewed them each on here, but to recap my thoughts...
Almaden Mtn. Rhine: Bright banana on the nose. Sweet tropical fruits driven by banana. A crisp, refreshing riesling-esque wine. (2.5) Everyone seemed to enjoy this one
Vella Chardonnay: Flat nose. Very dry chablis-like style, but nothing going on. Very flat and flavorless with an odd rubbery finish, perhaps from the bag it's contained in. Bleh. No one liked this. (.5)
Black Box Chadonnay: The favorite of the whites for most of us. Woody nose with some spices and nice tropical fruits and melon. Nice, bright fruits and a well balanced chardonnay. Pleasing and comparable to any medium tier chardonnay. (3)
Almaden Merlot: I enjoyed the sour cherry nose. Very fruit forward, but at times somewhat sour on the palate and fairly dry. A fair example of a mid-tier merlot. Enjoyable for what it is. (3)
Black Box Merlot: Very reserved nose. A tad austere to me, but it grows on you. Deep and rich. Perhaps as it breathed, I liked it more. (2.5)
Almaden Cabernet Sauvignon: Vegetal nose very heavy on farm/barnyard. Sour and bitter and herbaceous on the palate. No one liked this one. Bleh. (.5)
Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon: Favorite of mine. A nice, middle ground cab for everyday drinking and great for a large gathering as a go-to red. Nicely balanced oak and fruit and an easy drinking-now cab. (3.5)
Schreiner's Winers: Thinking In The Box tasting 2/5/10
- Reply by elleystar, Feb 8, 2010.
Hey, thanks for this! I actually bought wine that day (2/5) which was my birthday. I bought a couple of bottles and the Black Box Cab. Boxed wine isn't my first choice but when we have $50 or less in the budget to spend on wine each month, it's a great way to help stretch it a bit. Especially since I like to cook with it so much. This may not be the most standout wine I've ever had but it is extremely drinkable and cookable!