Delicato Shiraz 2004

Price: $18
Maker: Delicato Family Vineyards
Variety: Shiraz
Packaging: 3 liter box
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Sampling a box of Delicato Shiraz 2004 could be just the thing to convince a box wine sceptic that good things come in large packages. Delicato puts the same wine in its boxes as its bottles, and their wines have earned accolades both in the U.S. and at international competitions. Notably, Delicato’s entry was named “Best Shiraz of California” awards at the 2001, 2002 and 2003 California State Fair Wine Competitions.

The 2004 Delicato Shiraz lives up to its heritage. A powerful scent of spicy cherries practically bursts from the wine as you pour it. The flavor is a bit more subtle, tasting of blackberry and cherry. Overall, the flavor is balanced and quite smooth. The finish lingers with a fruity spiciness. The start and finish of this wine are so wonderful that they overshadow its pleasant flavor.

The box is what Delicato has branded its Bota Box. It features similar construction to other wine boxes, but includes a FlexTap pushbutton-style spout. The pushbutton is easy to handle with one hand, even when tilting the box to get those last few glasses, and is free of annoying post-pour drips.

It’s little surprise that Delicato’s Shiraz is the best selling brand of that variety in the United States. If they can keep up with demand while maintaining quality, they are likely to hold onto that distinction in the coming yeasrs.

6 thoughts on “Delicato Shiraz 2004”

  1. Yikes! I went online to read a review of the Delicato 2004 Shiraz boxed wine to find out if it was just me who thinks this stuff tastes sharp and bitter with a noticibly nasty chemical smell. Help, I’m confused. Did I get a bad box?

  2. Or maybe I got a good one, Rob. Box wines usually seem quite consistent, but I’ve had odd ones. The last 5 liter Almaden Cab I tried had a strange off-note I can only describe as “fishy”. (Find THAT on your aroma wheel! ;)) That’s one box wine I’ve purchased many times (our local stores were late to the game in introducing better boxes), and no previous sample had that flaw.

    I’ve wondered if Delicato would be able to hold their quality even as they ramp up production to meet demand.

  3. As a big drinker of Delicato wines – I have found them to be very consistent…even with the boxes. But, as with every winery, sometimes you get a bad bottle/box. I am guessing that Rob got a bad one. The danger with boxes (and bottles) is the shelf life (which is only around 1 year) and storage. You would hope that a wine store would keep the wine rotated and in proper temperatures away from light – but the flavors Rob is describing sounds like it has been cooked.

    Also – as you comment on quality versus demand. Delicato owns over 13,000 acres of vineyards therefore they can choose the best grapes from their own vineyards and not have to buy cheap plunky stuff just to meet demand. I don’t think they would have a problem with quality versus demand.

  4. I purchased a 3 liler box of 2005 Merlot from Longs Drug today.

    When I pored the first glass, it had a very bad taste as if it had been exposed to air for some time.Since I had a cold. I thought that it may be my taster until I finished the glass and the bottom was filled with dredges. I sampled another glass and it was better but, it too was bad.

    What should I do, return to Longs for a refund or what??

    Thax, Bill

  5. Bill, the store where you bought the wine should always be your first resort when you get a bad bottle or box. They will usually be happy to replace it, particularly if there’s lots of sediment – that’s rare for a box wine. Good luck!


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