Sample submitted for review. SRP of $20 and available for as low as $17.
From the producer:
"Flexible enough to go with light or rich fare, this highly versatile Pinot Noir can be readily enjoyed with a variety of cuisines. Excellent dishes to pair with this wine would be fresh grilled turkey burgers, fettuccine with pesto sauce or even chicken enchiladas.
For decades, Don & Sons has forged deeply-rooted relationships in the wine business, both at home and abroad. Pepperwood Grove exemplifies our ability to use this classic négociant wine model to produce exceptional values for the American consumer.
We're big fans of Pinot Noir here at The Reverse Wine Snob, we're just not fans of the ridiculous prices you need to pay for so much of it. So when we find good Pinot in our price range we have a special term for it -- Pinot Noir For The 99! Today's selection, which can be had for the equivalent of a $4.25 bottle, certainly fits the bill.
One other tidbit I found when researching this wine that may be of interest to proponents of natural wine as well as those that complain that "the sulfites in cheap wine give me headaches" (which is not true by the way). Almost all wines have SO2 (sulfites) added to them to keep them fresh; however, the maker of today's wine (Don Sebastiani & Sons) actually adds less SO2 to their box wines than they do to bottled wines. (Info found here.)
The reason for this is simply because they expect them to be consumed fairly quickly so they don't need to stay fresh as long. I haven't commented on the whole natural wine movement here (basically because I think it's a bunch of hooey) but I would be curious to hear how its proponents would react when they found that this inexpensive box wine is "more natural" (at least in terms of sulfites) than many more expensive bottled wines. In any case, let's get to the wine, shall we?
The Pepperwood Grove The Big Green Box Pinot Noir begins with pleasant aromas of black cherry, plum, hints of vanilla and a little brown sugar and spice. Tasting reveals a really easy drinking wine that while not totally dry, is a tad less sweet than your average red blend in a box. Good jammy red and black fruit along with touches of spice combine with soft tannins and a smooth mouthfeel to make a surefire crowd-pleaser. It ends mostly dry with tart fruit and even a hint of earthiness. Highly Recommended!
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.