Another month another series in the boxed wine wars series. To refresh your memory we judged Bota Box and Black Box against each other in January and February. January was Cabernet Sauvignon and February was Sauvignon Blanc. So this month is another red… red blends to be exact. And since Black Box failed miserably the last two months I decided to take them out of the March wars. However, I did add a third box to this months taste test.
I skipped grabbing a red blend of the Black Box this month. For two reasons: the last two months they have come in lack luster and because the store I was shopping at didn’t have a red blend in Black Box. They might not produce one at all. Probably for the best.
Like last month's box, this one has a fun story that makes you want to grab your tent and this box and enjoy the big night sky. “As the campfire dies out, the only sounds you may hear are that of nature, like the Nighthawk, on its nightly hunting adventure… with big, jammy flavors; contemplate your own night adventure while enjoying a glass.”
smell test: deep and rich.
Taste: Kind of has a little bit of spice in it. Lingers on the tongue and makes you want more.
Jammy is such a weird way to describe wine. I’ve never truly understood these descriptions that sommeliers use. Maybe I need to take a class or something. But the more I sip on this wine the more I get this jammy description. It’s not jammy in the sense of I want to rub it on my bread and take a bite of bacon after. It’s jammy in the way it lingers, the way it sits on the tongue with a little bit of depth. It’s jammy the way the flavors explode from left to right and front and back, taking over your entire mouth with fruit flavors. Now, I’m not trained enough to tell you which fruits I taste but does it really matter? I can tell you without a doubt, this is a smooth wine and one I will be going back to. Maybe I’m speaking too soon because I still have two more boxes to test!
I love the name of this as I can imagine walking into someone's private cellar and enjoying an expensive bottle of wine. But they are truly losing me on the design. What is this? Why? I guess one shouldn’t judge a wine box by It’s cover, eh?
Smell Test: thick with fruity hints
Taste Test: This wine is a bit of a shock to my tastebuds. It’s definitely the coffee aftertaste. It overtakes all of the original flavors that come in at the beginning. The more I sip the more I can appreciate this wine. Where the Bota Box has you begging for another sip this one has a little more complex from beginning to end. But sometimes that’s not all good. I wouldn’t grab a second glass of the Vin Vault wine as quickly as I would a glass of Bota Box. The reason for this is that the ending is a little rough for my liking. It’s not a smooth progression from from to end, it’s jarring. Which has it’s place in the wine world and maybe a place in your home. Have you had this wine? Are you ok with the harsh transition? Or do you like a smoother finish?
Smell Test: fruit forward. At first smell, I was almost turned off. It was big, even for my stuffed up nose. But I should know better than to smell the wine before letting it sit for a minute or two. After letting the wine get some air the smell became a little more calm and fruit forward in a strong, but not too strong, way.
Taste Test: This one takes a step back in boldness. It has a forward taste with a lackluster finish. Both Bota Box and Vin Vault sit on your tongue and hang out for a while but this lingering taste is easily forgettable. It’s almost non-existent but it is there. It’s just not making waves. I guess you could say this wine is smooth but is that because of its lackluster quality? You can be the judge of that. You do get a great fruity taste before you’re left with nothing. That fruity taste can definitely keep you coming back for more which is the saving grace for this one!
All in all, I was impressed with all three of these boxes. They truly bring their own touch to the table and offer something different. Do you want an exuberant taste all the way through? Go with the Bota Box Nighthawk. Do you want one glass that will kick your taste buds to a new place? Grab the Vin Vault red blend. Do you want one that comes in strong but leaves easy letting you pair this with just about any meal? Go with the Big House Red.
On a personal note, I’d be more likely to pick up the Bota Box or Red House Blend before I’d pick up the Vin Vault again. But I like my coffee taste in the morning and kept out of my wine. But it’s a glass of wine and not a bowl of wine for a reason: we can all have our own preference!