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
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:
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)
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.