Maker: Fisheye Wines, Ripon, California
Packaging: 3-liter box
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
One of the newer boxes we’ve spotted in our local market is Fish Eye Shiraz 2003 – we’ve seen their wines in the standard 750ml bottles, but it’s now available in 3-liter boxes as well. The wine has a nice aroma with leather, berry, and spice notes. The flavor is plummy with additional cherry and oak notes leading into a slightly peppery finish. We found this wine to be a bit better if it’s given a chance to breathe. That’s a bit more challenging for a boxed wine, since you can’t just leave it uncorked on the counter for a while. So, either decant some or pour your glasses early.
One minor quibble we have with this wine’s packaging is its twist-spigot pouring mechanism. This is similar to the dispensers used on some of the 5-liter ultra-cheap boxes, and has an annoying tendency to dribble. The spigot doesn’t actually leak, but shortly after one pours a glass an additional drop of wine is released. By that time, the glass is gone and the drop lands on whatever is underneath the spigot. This isn’t a huge issue, but since some makers seem to have perfected the drip-free, push-button spigot we see no reason for a winemaker to incorporate the old-style twist kind.
Overall, we didn’t find this to be a great Shiraz, but some oxygen definitely made it quite drinkable. For a “glass a day” drinker who leans toward a fruitier red, Fish Eye Shiraz might not be a bad choice.