WINE REVIEW: Sustainable Wine, Sustainable Box
GEA by Root:1 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon BiB
by Andrew Chalk
Wine in a box always struck me as a good idea. It can keep longer with modern bag designs, will not smash, it largely recyclable (not sure about the plastic bag), does not need an opener, and is a square section for a square aperture in the refrigerator.
For some reason the market is dominated by low-end wine. It has type-cast the packaging as the underlying wine quality and, as Sean Connery felt only playing James Bond, stoppedit getting other roles. What the world needs is for a Peter Michael or Cathy Corison to release a sauvignon blanc in a box, under their name, to give the packaging category legitimacy.
In the meantime, I was sent a sample of this Chilean wine, GEA by Root:1 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon BiB (bag in box), a blend of 92% cabernet sauvignon and 8% pais. Pais is also known as mission, or criolla chica in Argentina. It is grown in massive amounts for pisco (brandy) in Chile and regarded as an inferior red wine grape despite its vitis vinifera heritage.
I would love to say that it is the touch of magic that made this box wine a great wine. Unfortunately, the honest me finds this a fruit-bomb, simple cabernet sauvignon and cannot detect any good being done by pretty much anything in it. Since the box technology keeps it fresh the wine is playing a sterling role as the base for Bordelaise sauce in my kitchen. But for drinking, box wine is still looking for its Grand Cru.
Variety: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% País.
D.O.: Central Valley.
Terroir: The valley, influenced by the presence of the
Andes mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, has a
Mediterranean climate, with cool, dry summers and mild,
rainy winters. These conditions promote the production
of excellent quality wine grapes. The valley soils show a
wide diversity, where deep and mineralized alluvial soils
of fluvial origin predominate.
Harvest: The grapes were harvested between 20 March
and 25 April, when their organoleptic qualities, aromas
and tannins were at their best.
Winemaking: The selected clusters were transported
to the winery. Then the must was fermented in stainless
steel tanks at a controlled temperature of between 24°C
and 26°C. Subsequently, 40% of the wine remained in
contact with French ans American oak during 4 months.
This wine is intense ruby red in color. The nose reveals
fresh fruits such as raspberries, strawberries and
blackberries along with soft floral notes and a touch of
vanilla and caramel. Nice body and balanced acidity, with
ripe tannins, and a pleasant ending.
Best served at between 16°C and 18°C. This wine pairs
well with mature cheese, grilled meat, as well as roast
duck or lamb