Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wine Block Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5 Liter Box

Another California Cab addition to our list of bag-in-box wines:

Wine Block Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Block Winery (Kendall Jackson)
Santa Rosa, California
1.5 liter box, vintage dated
About $10

"dark and earthy cabernet is brightened by juniper, raspberry and chocolate flavors - hins of licorice and cherry cola are balanced nicely by well-integrated oak" -- Lise Skaanild, Winemaker. 75% cabernet sauvignon, 20% syrah, 5% cabernet franc. Alcohol, 13.7%.

Wine Block 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

Reviews in the Press

Steve Heimoff, December, 2005 Wine Enthusiast
86 points - Best Buy
"At the equivalent of five bucks a bottle, this is a super value in Cabernet. You'll find real richness in the ripe black currant, chocolate and sweet oak flavors, and in the smooth texture. It's also wonderfully dry and balanced."

Jon Bonne, April 7, 2006, MSNBC
Again, Wine Block showed well with both its 2002 California Cabernet sauvignon and its 2002 California merlot (both $10/1.5 litres). They’re competent varietal examples that will get plastic cups clicking. The Cab is built around plum, black cherry and cocoa flavors. It’s a bit too sweet, but well-defined and it finishes well.

For July 4, wine in a box could be a winner - Today: Wine -

Elizabeth Downer, June 22, 2006, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wine Block is a product of Kendall-Jackson winery. They make 75,000 cases of each variety annually. The price is $11.99 for 1.5 liters. This means the bottom line is $6 per 750 milliliter bottle. ..... PLCB # 06930: 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon; black cherries and cocoa nose with good structure and nice finish.

Tastings: New box wines provide quality and convenience at low cost

Cindy Kibbe, Aug 18, 2006, New Hampshire Business Review
Wine Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Rosa, Calif., 1.5L, $9.99): With such an unassuming name, I was very skeptical of this wine, but was soon pleasantly surprised. Deep red with berry flavors, the Wine Block Cab had nice tannins and a good earthy character with a touch of spice. Some oakiness gave way to a long finish. The winemaker’s flavor profile revealed it was 96 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from central and north coast regions — and it shows. Was it the best Cab I’ve ever had? No, but it was the best boxed red I’ve ever had.

New Hampshire Business Review

Holly Howell, May 22, 2007, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Wine Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2003. This was the biggest surprise of all, and probably the biggest mindset to overcome. Carefully crafted by the same family that produces Kendall-Jackson wines, this rich red is produced from 100 percent California grapes using state-of-the-art barrel fermentation. It comes in a magenta red box that will really light up your kitchen counter. C'mon. Just try it at $9.99 per 1.5-liter box.

Democrat & Chronicle: Holly Howell

Norman Mark, September 2005, Desert Magazine
89 points. Recommended
"Smooth, easy, it's like meeting some else's dog that you find likable but not loveable. "

Alton Long (syn), July 2005, South Coast Insider, RI

Neil Taflinger, May 2006, Indianapolis Star, IN
"There's nothing like a fine, boxed wine to complement a picnic lunch. The equivalent of two 750ml bottles of wine packed in one darling cube. Wine Block is part of the vast Kendall-Jackson empire, and this varietal, a fruitier cab according to Brian Brown, was rated a Best Buy by Wine Enthusiast magazine."

W.E. Moranville, March 2006, Des Moines Register
"In the past months, I've had the opportunity to taste quite a few boxed wines, and I've come up with a go-to list of respectable choices for serving a roomful of nice people. Heartier Reds: Wine Block Cabernet of the boxed wine options that I've come across."

Bob Johnson , January 2006, Victor Valley Daily Press, CA
"You'll never confuse this wine with a Napa Valley or Alexander Valley Cab, but it delivers plenty of flavor - raspberry, cola, chocolate and terroir - for the price. $9.99 per 1.5-liter box (the equivalent of two bottles)."

Bob Hosmon , August 2005, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, FL Wine of the Week
"Impressive cabernet for the equivalent of $5 a bottle. Its cube shape makes it very compact for travel, and the bag-in-box format renders it immune to cork taint and quick spoilage. The wine is medium-to full-bodied, with an admirable smoothness. Black-currant and black cherry flavors. This wine competes well with its bottled counterparts in the $10 to $15 range."

John Breitlow , August 2005, Midwest Wine Connection
***1/2 corks
"Medium-bodied, and just an easy wine to drink. Works by itself or with food."

Susan Reigler, July 2005, Louisville Courier - Journal, KY, Recommended

Michael Dresser , July 2005, Baltimore Sun, MD, Recommended
"This uniquely packaged item from California just happens to be an impressive cabernet for the equivalent of $5 a bottle. Its cubed shape makes it very compact for travel, and the bag-in-a-box format renders it immune to cork taint and quick spoilage. The wine itself is medium-to full bodied, with admirable smoothness. Black-currant and black-cherry flavors."

July 05, Nick Tomassi, Kitsap Sun, WA, Recommended

Mary Ross Arlington , July 2005, Heights Daily Herald, IL, Highly Recommended
"The fun, functional package is only half the story; equivalent to two standard bottles, sealed in a neon-colored bag-in-a-box that keeps wine fresh for weeks after opening. But it's the well-made wine inside that separates Wine Block from other good-value gimmicks. The bright fruit and delicate spicy accents more than make up for lack of sophistication (how sophisticated do you need to be swinging in a hammock?) As the temperature rises, serve slightly chilled."

Leslie Sbrocco, June 2005, San Francisco Chronicle, CA, Great Value/Recommended
" pick for parties and picnics."

Roger Morris , June 2005, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Recommended
"I did try the Wine Block cabernet over a period of several days and found it had, and maintained, very good dark raspberry flavors with hints of brambles and good acidity--much more to my preference than those fruit-forward bombs that clog the throat."

Reviews Online

Roger, Box Wine Guy, March 29, 2006, Box Wines blog
Our Rating: 9 out of 10
. . .
One’s next impression (after pouring a glass) is that this is amazingly good wine. Its fruity, spicy aroma practically bursts from the glass. The wine is full-bodied and fruit-forward, with blackberry and cherry flavors mixed with light tannins, spice, and oak for pleasing complexity.
. . .
Wine Block is a product of Kendall Jackson with its own website. They call their products “blockbuster wines”, and in the case of the cab, they aren’t exaggerating.

Wines » Wine Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

November 2006, Recommended
"From the Jackson Wine Estates comes this dark and earthy Cabernet Sauvignon that is brightened by juniper, raspberry and chocolate flavours with hints of licorice and cherry cola are balanced nicely by well-integrated oak."

Frederic Koeppel . August 2005, Koeppel on Wine, Very Good
"The producers of Wine Block boast that the wines will keep without harm for up to six weeks after the spigot is opened. So we opened this cabernet, tasted it, went to Italy for two weeks, came home, messed about for another week or so and finally got around to trying it again. And guess what? It was fine. It's deep, dark and spicy,with fresh, vivid black currant and black cherry flavors and just enough oak and tannin to lend firmness to the fruit and a bit of structure. Again, this holds the equivalent of two regular bottles of wine."

Stores and Newsletters

Dan Berger , June 2005, Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, Recommended
"a cute, 4 5/8-inch cube box holding 1.5 liters; good varietal character and nice fruit."