2009 Big House White – Boxed wine, out on Good Behavior!

I had my first boxed wine worth drinking ever this last May, which was a great showing by a funky little wine company named Big House Wine Co. based in Ripon, CA.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with the greater San Francisco Bay Area, of which Ripon is barely a member.  It’s a small town where my sister-in-law grew up and is probably straddling the border between Bay Area and Central Valley, with 7/8ths of it in the “Central Valley.”  Again, unless you live here or grew up around here that may not mean much to you, but to me it means sweltering summers, crop dusters and big rigs towing two trailers overflowing with tomatoes.  One would not necessarily expect to find a little gem like good boxed wine, which is an oxymoron unto itself.

So take two with Big House Wine Co. and this time an interesting blend of some white varietals you may have never had or even heard of.

Big House White, 2009 California White Wine

Open Here
Open Here - No Corkscrew Required

The Nose: Tropical fruit shivs your nose and  you’re assaulted in the shower by Kiwi and Mango.  Slight reprieve with some orange essence and floral notes.

The Taste: Lucky for you there’s no riots in the mess hall today.  Green apple and star fruit with a second conviction of some perfumy flowery vegetative thing, like eating rose petals or something.  Finishes with citrus zest and/or lemon-lime rind.

The Mouth Feel: Soft and silky, no prison mattress here, nice mid-palate acid pop followed by dry lingering steely finish, probably from the Grüner or the Viognier.

The Color: Light pale yellow, like a Sauv Blanc or Viognier.

The Nitty Gritty:

13.5% ABV
Varietal Makeup:51% Malvasia Bianca, 14% Muscat Canelli, 13% Viognier, 10% Grüner Veltliner, 5% Pinot Gris, 4% White Riesling
$21.99 / 3L Octavin (equal to 4 750 Ml bottles)

2009 Big House White
2009 Big House California White Wine

The Verdict: This wine has some qualities of wines that are significantly more expensive.  Initially the nose of this reminded me immediately of A Thousand Flowers, from Hop Kiln Winery, and secondly reminded me of a Viognier I recently tasted from Pride Mountain that retails for $45/750 Ml bottle!  A lively and crisp white with a great nose and a super dry finish.  This will definitely pair up well with the Jerk Chicken that’s on my rotisserie.  It would also do well with firm white fish or shelfish dishes.  I’m suspecting that it would probably shine along side some spicy Thai or Indian too.

So once more the Big House Crew has surpassed the expectations of this wine drinker and continues to destroy the stereotype of “Boxed Wine.”  This wine should be acceptable to all and spectacular to many.  It gets a solid buy recommendation from me.

In Vino Veritas:  This wine was provided to me as a professional sample.

2009 Grooner, Grüner Veltliner

Well, it has been a long time coming, but I have been eyeballing this varietal for some time.  Ever since I started blogging I have read posts and reviews of this Grüner Veltliner but up until tonight I have not had the pleasure of acquaintance.  Tonight we had a nice chicken dinner with some garlic and ginger sauteed carrots and pasta.  This wine is as it claims, great with food, or on its own.

As an interesting side note, with tasting this varietal, I’m half way to my “Wine Century Club” membership.  Yeah, number 50!

2009 Grooner Grüner Veltliner

2009 Grooner! Grüner Veltliner

The Nose: Apple, melon, and citrus with a touch of spice, perhaps thyme or sage?

The Taste: Tart apple and lemon zest, tropical melon that comes into play in the middle.  There’s some spritz that pumps up the tart, crisp apple.

The Mouth Feel: For as tart as this wine is, there is definitely some body to it, good viscosity and creaminess.  Decent length of finish with good minerality.

The Color: I think the bottle is influencing my opinion but this is the greenest tinted white wine I can recall ever seeing.

The Nitty Gritty:
12% ABV
100 % Grüner Veltliner
6 g/l total acidity
3.3 g/l residual sugar
Cellar Tracker Average Score 87 Pts
$10 Average price, Google Shopping Search

The Verdict: What a nice wine for a hot day. This was my first experience with this varietal and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  We had a white wine chicken with carrots sauteed in butter with garlic and ginger.  The spices really worked well with the wine and the crisp spritzy acidity really cut through the butter and brought out the flavor in the food.  I’m thoroughly pleased with my first Grüner Veltliner experience and would recommend this to someone looking for a light white that goes nicely with food or could be just as great well chilled on a hot summer day!

2009 Grooner!
Enjoy your Grooner Chilled!

New Thing: So I’m done with the point scale or letter grading.  I’m just going to tell you if I liked it and if I recommend it, I certainly don’t feel like me giving it a point score is adding any value to anyone.

In Vino Veritas: This wine was provided to me as an industry sample with the intent of review.