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 Concannon Central Coast Riesling, Selected Vineyards

To be honest I have been slightly dreading reviewing this wine, I had an unfortunate experience with my first of the Concannon “Selected Vineyards” wines, the 2007 Concannon Shiraz I reviewed previously was not so good.  Well, I’ve worked up the nerve to give the other sample, they so graciously provided, a try.  This time a 2009 Riesling from the Central California Coastal region.

2009 Concannon Riesling
2009 Concannon Riesling

2009, Concannon, Central Coast Riesling, Selected Vineyards

The Nose: Lovely tropical friut, papaya and spice with honeysuckle and crushed rock.

The Taste: Spicy honeysuckle is definitely predominant, the fruit is elusive and there’s an unfortunate bitter aftertaste that tries to come across like citrus peel, but gets lost in the steely finish…  Wait!  As this wine has warmed up (had it well chilled) there is a nice subtle asian pear finish and the fruitiness is definitely coming out to play!

The Mouth Feel: The mouth feel is not bad!  This wine comes on slippery and viscous, fading a bit in the mid-palate and lingers on the finish with steel and minerality.

The Color: Pale yellow and light.

The Nitty Gritty:
13.5% ABV
Acid: 0.68g/100ml
pH: 3.19

The Verdict:

Well it appears that redemption comes in white for Concannon.  This is a decent wine.  At $10 it is a exceptionally drinkable white wine that would probably go nice with some  spicy food.  It’s not bad even by itself.  I probably wouldn’t go too far out of my way to find it, I certainly wouldn’t turn down a glass.

79 Pts / C+

2009 Concannon Riesling
2009 Concannon Riesling

In Vino Veritas:  This wine was provided to me as a sample with the intention of review.