Almaden Cabernet Sauvignon – Box

Price: $12
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 5 liter box
Our Rating: 7 out of 10

Almaden Cabernet Sauvignon in a box has the distinction of being the best of a group that is, at best, fair. At least in the Midwest US, three brands have dominated the cheap box business – Franzia, Vella, and Almaden. These boxes are always 5 liters in size, and may sell as cheaply as $8 for a box – a little over a buck per bottle-equivalent. The Merlot and Cabernet varieties tend to cost a bit more, generally $10 – $13 per box. Even for those, the cost is incredibly cheap and the box preserves the wine for far, far longer than a bottle would…

With the price comes middling quality. The Almaden boxed Cab is probably the best of the 5 liter group, at least from a red standpoint. It has a pleasant, if faint, fruity/floral aroma. Its color is deep garnet. The flavor is of berries, with fairly strong tannins. The overall impression is a bit thin and light. A couple of times I detected a very slight, fishy off-note. The finish offers a lingering hint of pepper.

Wine lovers are likely to find that the Almaden Cabernet comes up a bit short compared to some lower-end bottled fare or more costly, premium boxed wines (usually sold in 3 liter boxes), but it can still serve as a good buy for economical party or barbecue use, or for a “glass of red wine a day” consumer looking more for a great value than subtle flavor. A box should hold the flavor for a month, making for much easier management than bottles. Spicy food might be a good pairing, too, since it demands less subtlety and more flavor.

One plus to the Almaden Cabernet is the reliable spigot. While for some reason Franzia box spigots often dribble like incontinent octagenarians, the Almaden Cab pours and shuts off with nary a wasted drop. The spigot is of the rotating knob type – perhaps slightly less convenient than the push-button style, but effective nonetheless.

11 thoughts on “Almaden Cabernet Sauvignon – Box

  1. Pingback: Wines » Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Cabernet Sauvignon (Two Buck Chuck) 2003

  2. Pingback: Wines » Tisdale Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

  3. Newt Robinson

    How safe is the plastic line in boxed wine? Does the plastic line make the wine hazardous to your health?

    Reply
  4. Roger Post author

    I don’t worry much about harmful compounds leaching out – generally, box wine is consumed within a year or so of packaging, and within a month of opening.

    Roger

    Reply
  5. Arthur

    I found thr almaden very acceptablt,the carbonet sauvignion that is. it does vary quite abit fromh harvest to harves ,understandably so. I thoughtthis could be compensated by thre blemding, At thistime,at leat for mysrlf, an88 uyeart old codger, who drinks wine daily,but in moderation, the pricing has become important, If not I would have preferred thr reseva ducal chiant, or some sicilian reds

    Reply
  6. nancy

    Love your box wine – hate the packaging. I just purchase a box of Caberet and a box of Chardonnay and
    both turned with the box and sprayed everywhere. I had this happen with your product once before but now I’m done. The wine boxes without the screw turn but instead have a button are more reliable.

    Reply
  7. Norma Reynoso

    I was buying my Box of Almaden Cabernet sauvignion at Food For Less but most of the time they thownt half it

    Reply
  8. Sharan mcbride

    Please get rid of the new turn spigot. It is very,very hard to work. Go back to the previous lift with your thumb version.

    Reply
    1. Roger Post author

      I agree, Sharan, the pushbutton closures tend to be easier to use, particularly with one hand. The turn spigots can get a little sticky and hard to rotate. The turn spigots also seem a little more prone to retaining an extra drip or two.

      Reply

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