Review: Big House Red and Monthaven Chardonnay 3L Box Wines

Boxed wine continues to tiptoe toward improvement, with the folks at Octavin offering some decent wines in considerably more handsome packaging. These three-liter boxes fit more easily into your fridge but still promise to store your vino without it breaking down for up to six weeks.

2008 Monthaven Chardonnay is not a big success. Thin and lightly oaky, it’s chardonnay-lite, with a tepid body, some random tropical fruit character, and a sort of meat-like finish. The Central Coast wine will do in a pinch, but it’s not something to cozy up with alongside your sweetie as you gaze at the sunset. Think party wine. Frat party wine. C-

2008 Big House Red is surprisingly a far bigger hit, actually. A blend of just about everything (see the review of the 2007 Big House Red for a sampling) from all over California, this one comes across far more successfully than its pedigree would imply. Balanced, with mild spiciness, light acid, and a solid core of fruit, it’s even got complexity through smoky wood notes in the mix. Pushing an A-, but still on the upper edge of B+

$22 per 3L box /

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4 Responses

  1. Thegrubhound November 2, 2010 / 4:07 pm

    I will put The Big House Red on my list of box wines to try.

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