SRP of $30 and available for as low as $26. Sample submitted for review.
From the box:
Black Box Platinum symbolizes our devotion to crafting high-quality wines of superior value. We source from only the finest growing regions to create intense fruit flavors, exceptional texture and unparalleled elegance.
Smooth and enticing with ripe cherry, blackberry and toasty oak flavors and a lengthy finish. This wine comes from the Central Coast, a premier appellation known for its perfect blend of cooling fog, wind and warm sun.
One of the original mass market boxes, the evolution of the Black Box is a fascinating look at the economics behind boxed wines. When the Black Box Cabernet was first introduced it was sourced from Paso Robles, California. As demand grew that sourcing was changed to all of California. Then just a few years ago that sourcing was changed again, but this time to the Central Valley of Chile. None of this is necessarily bad (Chile makes some really excellent Cabernet Sauvignon) but it demonstrates an issue that all box wines must face -- how do you maintain quality and supply in a growing market while still maintaining your price point? Vintages vary every year, sometimes drastically, but demand does not.
One solution to this is to do exactly what Black Box did and try to maintain a high level of quality by changing the sourcing of their grapes. Another solution would be to raise prices. As it turns out, Black Box has, in a way, now done both. Those wistfully longing for the days California Cabernet in their Black Box will happy to see the new Platinum Series of wines from the Central Coast of California. Priced at $5 more than the normal Black Box (SRP of $29.99 versus $24.99) the wines are available in Colorado and Minnesota initially with a nationwide roll-out in the near future. Let's take a look at how the Cabernet tastes, shall we?
The 2012 Black Box Platinum Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon begins with very pleasant aromas of plum, black cherry, some lovely spice, a hint of mint and a bit of cigar box. Tasting reveals sweet, rich, and ripe blackberry with nice touches of spice and cola. You'll also find a nice smooth texture and a bit of toasty oak, but this wine is driven by the rich dark berry fruit. Normally I prefer completely dry wines and like a lot of reds in boxes this one is slightly sweet (6.2g/L of residual sugar) but it really works. It ends long with lots of lingering blackberry and touches of vanilla. This is really quite yummy stuff!
The only question that remains is whether they can maintain the quality of the wine as they increase the supply for a national roll-out. For that we'll have to wait and see but in the meantime if you can get your hands on the 2012 vintage I recommend it, especially at the equivalent of about $6.50 per bottle! (And stay tuned, we'll be reviewing the normal Black Box Cabernet from Chile later in this series.)
Recommended selections in our series on The Best Box Wines:
- Vinchio-Vaglio Serra Piemonte Barbera
- Big House White Blend
- Alain Jaume & Fils Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve
- Black Box Platinum Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
- Esporao Alandra White
- Vina Borgia Garnacha
- The Original House Wine Riesling
- Esporao Alandra Red
- La Petite Frog Picpoul De Pinet
- Pepperwood Grove The Big Green Box Pinot Noir
- Target Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc
- La Vieille Ferme Vin Rouge
- Duca Del Frassino Garganega/Pinot Grigio
- Wineberry Domaine de Garrigon Cotes du Rhone
- Lieb Cellars Bridge Lane White Blend
- Fuori Strada Off Road Sangiovese
- Jack Tone Vineyards White Blend
- See the full list of all 75 boxes considered here.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.