Maker: Black Box Wines, Madera, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 3-liter box
Our Rating: 7.5 out of 10
The last time we tried Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon, we were relatively impressed. Black Box is generally highly regarded in the box arena. (Indeed, for a long time they were Google’s #1 choice for “box wines”… no longer, though. ;)) Despite this background, we were disappointed by Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon 2005. The aroma was nice enough, with blackberry and licorice notes. The flavor, though, was lacking – there were plum and oak notes, but the tannins were a bit sharp and there was an unpleasant earthiness. Perhaps we should have been prepared – we bought this box at a large enough wine outlet, but oddly the cab boxes were marked down to $13 (vs. a typical discounted price of $19 and a list price of $24). The other Black Box varietals were normally priced. Did these cab boxes end up stored next to the warehouse furnace for a few days? Or did the wine manager open one, taste the wine, and decide to blow them out quickly? We’ll never know, but our 2005 Black Box cab experience was definitely worse than our 2004 tasting.
We didn’t have much luck tracking down other tastings of the 2005 Black Box Pasa Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. El Catavinos commented, “dark plum with very ripe berry nose and vanilla, fresh fruit-forward flavor,” but since the post was from April, 2005 we’re guessing they tasted the 2004 Cab that we also liked.