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Monday, June 22, 2009

2005 Fox Valley Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

In my visit review of this winery I declared this as one of the two best red wines made in Illinois (that we've had). I am consuming this from a three liter box that runs at just about $40.

The nose and palate on this one is strange at first pour, but it blows off after a bit of time and doesn't seem to be present in the following glasses (some lingering gas I assume).

Cherry and vanilla on the nose. After letting a glass sit for a while, cinnamon and brown spice show up.

A very nice balance of cherry, vanilla, and cedar. Very nice tannic structure that would suggest if you just grab a regular bottle it would cellar fairly well. A fair amount of spice comes through as well - clove, cinnamon - making everything really blend together well.

The finish has more cherry and vanilla.

I avoided posting this until we worked through a good chunk of the box because I feared I may be being a bit too generous since it's an Illinois wine, but after giving it a lot of thought and consuming it over a few days, I think I'm being more than fair. In fact, if you go by the box pricing, this is among the best valued Cabs out there, from anywhere.

There is a slight issue with boxed red wine in general during the summer months - I don't know about you, but I don't keep our home at cellar temperature. I think the best way to handle this is keep the box in the fridge and pour a carafe or decanter an hour or two before you're going to drink it. Mildly inconvenient, but basically worth the hassle.

A word of warning though - many estimates on how long box wine keep after opening range from four to six weeks. Right around four weeks, I found all the fruit has blown off this one and has left it basically a spicy and oaky mess, perhaps okay for cooking, but not beyond that. By all means, buy it - but drink it within three weeks.

Wine: 8
Value: Absolutely

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