Another box for Christmas

It’s a nice chilly evening up at the condo we are lucky enough to have access to through “the wife’s” family and we’ve just finished off a great bottle of Michel-Schlumberger “Coteaux Sauvages” and we still need more vino…

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So it is on to the Seven non-vintage Red wine of Spain. This box of wine is a blend of, you guessed it, seven varietals including 24% Shiraz, 24% Cab, 11% Garnacha, 11% Graciano, 10% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. If you are after your century club, this may help…

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Anyhow, this is a red with a baked/cooked fruit character, not too bad and definitely a valid second bottle if you are trying to save the good stuff or have a house full of people who wouldn’t differentiate a great bottle with a handle of Gallo.

Read that last part, good for large family gatherings that tend to happen around this time of year… Get my drift?

Anyhow, I wish you all the best and happiest of holidays! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the NorCalWingman!

2009 Silver Birch, Sauvignon Blanc

Up until this evening I had always wondered why grapefruit were called “Grape” fruit.  It never really made sense, but clearly the folks down in New Zealand, responsible for the creation of this 2009 Silver Birch, Sauvignon Blanc felt the need to express themselves with grapefruit.

2009, Silver Birch, Sauvignon Blanc — Octavin Home Bar 3L

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Open Here

The Nose:  Grapefruit

The Taste:  Grapefruit

The Mouth Feel:  Tart acidity and cheek watering, just a touch of a lingering mineral finish

The Color:  Pale Straw and light

The Nitty Gritty:
13% ABV
$22-$24 per 3L

no specific notes about acidity, but let’s just agree there must be a lot!

The Verdict:  While not supremely impressive or complex…  (actually it’s very one dimensional, did I mention the grapefruit thing?)  It is a reasonably drinkable wine, that tastes like grapefruit.  I still have slightly over 2.75 liters of this left, so I may just experiment with it a little.  I’m thinking a highball glass rimmed with salt and mixed with some vodka!

Looking down on Boxed Wine
Looking down on Boxed Wine

In all honesty though, it’s cold and fairly refreshing.  I’m guessing that this approachable wine might suit many a drinker looking to quench their thirst on a hot summer day.  I did pair this wine with some spicy chicken tacos and I must say that it fared decently with this dish.

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

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

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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.