Nice clean taste. Sweet and dry at the same time. First and Last taste range good, middle flavor leave something to be desired but you have to look to find its flaws. Overall good. I like it with heavy foods, makes it seem even cleaner and lighter.
Having left California where wine is ridiculously cheap (Two-buck Chuck at Trader Joe's and the great deals at Grocery Store Outlet and even the Dollar Tree and WalMart in Santa Rosa), I'm in the mid-South, where the mark-ups are insane, nearly impossible to get a decent 750 ml bottle for under $10, so I decided to try the boxed wines again after avoiding them for years. The Franzia and Vella wines are still iffy--a Vella "Chilean Red" was oversweet to the point of undrinkable, but I tried the Carlo Rossi Reserve Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and found them to be excellent wines. I was surprised that the quality was actually superior to the $1.99 reds from Charles Shaw at Trader Joe's. I used to make fun of boxed wines, but I'm sold. And no more glass waste (although with the transport savings the industry is getting, I think they should be even cheaper). Five liters for $20 is good, but $15 or $10 and they'd be flying off the shelves ten times as fast.
From Carlos and Aracely.
I have to say , this is the best wine to serve to non wine drinkers . I you want to have a toast with people that do not drink wine , and you are not willing to drink cheap Boones or wine coolers this is the option to go with . It has a great aroma . It is sweet, but not too sweet . It has non tanine flavors or aftertaste . You can actually taste the wine (non like Boones wines that are completely full of artificial flavors) . It can be compared to Italian sweet wines , but with the plus side that Carlo Rossi is actually really cheap . (about 5 dollars, at least in Mexico) So, I give it 4 wine glasses out of five for the value.
Pleasant enough for everyone in the family except the youngest.
I recently read a review of box wines in Wine Spectator (September 2009). I have a need to buy about 8 cases of wine a month to serve during our art gallery openings, so obviously I have an interest in keeping the cost down. Box wines are making inroads and the quality is (supposedly) getting better. WS gave this Carlo Rossi wine an 84, which surprised me. It also was very inexpensive and came in 5 litre boxes, which is easier to transport with less waste to clean up. I live in Nashville, TN, where the wine choices are limited by an arcane distribution system and the wine was hard to find. But I got a distributor to get his hands on some and I bought a 5 litre box to test. IT WAS HORRIBLE! The wine was baked, had thrown an awful sediment, and was cloudy and oxidized. I have to assume that the wine went bad during transport or had simply laid around too long and oxygen had permeated the plastic liner (something that WS made note can happen with box wines if they are not fresh.) What I hope is not the case is that this is in fact the wine that Rossi intended. But at any rate it was undrinkable. I also tested Rossi's Chardonnay equivalent (which was rated 80 by WS) and it was drinkable but very unremarkable. More than anything I am pissed at Wine Spectator for being SO wrong and wasting my time and energy.
I am assuming this is the Cabernet I had today with my lunch at Bravo Farms Cheese Factory in Traver, CA. I'd asked the waitress what she was pouring and she said Carlos Rossi. It was very smooth, not dry at all, which I have found many Cabernets to be. I really enjoyed this!!
Food Pairings for Carlo Rossi Merlot
This wine is light to medium in body. The palate is well balanced. Bright red fruit and floral hints lead to a crisp finish.
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