Have you tried this Rugby themed Vinoa box yet? - I Blame The Wine
Vinoa Rugby themed wine tasting box

Have you tried this Rugby themed Vinoa box yet?

Following my previous review about Vinoa, I have received a second box recently and eager to share my review with you. Of no surprise they have dedicated it to the current Rugby World Cup.

Vinoa Rugby World Cup themed wine tastersThere are four 50 ml taster samples coming from England, South Africa, New Zealand and France and I am so eager to see, or better say, taste whether we should go on and buy any of these wines as full bottles from Vinoa. Let’s crack on!

Bacchus 2014 of Kenton Vineyard from Devon. This English white wine is made from 100% Bacchus grapes (fairly popular in the UK for its sturdiness and ability to ripen in the cool climate). The wine is lower in alcohol with 12% abv and has almost no colour, it appears as quite transparent with some visible fizz to it. 

Aromas are pleasant of zesty lime and Granny Smith apples; flavours are very juicy and refreshing with a very high acidity. I am pleased that it’s not too sharp though. I wish it was a warm summer afternoon!

Overall I think this wine is good with its fruitiness and a lower alcohol content.

Clairette Blanche of The Three Foxes, South African wine that is made from 100% Clairette grapes. Have you hard about them? Well, I have, but not so many chances to try it in a pure form yet. It is even lower in alcohol with 11.5% abv, which is great for health reasons. When assessing its aromas I was surprised to notice that this white wine smells of plums like a ripe, but light bodied red?

The taste is flabby though – I can notice a fuller mouthfeel, but not a very clean flavour sensation. It tastes like a fruit compote without sugar. It’s rather simplistic and a bit oily (I have expected more refreshing citrus fruit from it). It can work with Oaked Chardonnay to appear fruitier and fuller when aged, but not in this current form. Overall it is rather different, but I cannot really say it has a good taste.

Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2014 from Central Otago, New Zealand is packed with much more punch than the previous two wines – it is definitely stronger with 14.5% abv.

This Kiwi wine is expressive of generous forest fruit, strawberry and raspberry, but also ripe and a bit acidic cherries. The wine delicate but with some pronounced fruit flavours. I found it to be a bit too strong for such a delicate wine, yet it’s round and just tiny bit creamy.

Overall I think it is satisfying for New World Pinot Noir, but I wish it would not be that strong in alcoholic content.

Chateau de France 2007 from Pessac-Leognan region of Bordeaux. It is made from a classic 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Merlot grapes. Can you imagine a premium Bordeaux to be bottled in these 50ml bottles for sampling? Will it be oxidised and taste wrong?

The smell is quite typical to Bordeaux (which is a plus in my books) and shows generous notes of blackcurrants and plums. The taste is bit disappointing – the fruit is being pushed somewhere on the back and thus appears not very clean – I can taste some plums from Merlot grapes. The wine is predominantly earthy and woody with its cedar notes depicting the age. Proper decanting and aerating reveals further layers of stewed plums and hints of mocha. Overall, it’s not bad at all, but I am not impressed much – with at almost £20 a bottle it could be more complex, concentrated with its fruit flavours and linger longer when you finish your sip. 

Are you also a bit confused of this selection? I do not think any of the wines are specifically bad or awful, but they are not exceptional or very good for that matter either. With hundreds if not thousands of better wines available it is important not just to check the quality and ‘acceptability’ of the wine (which is clearly not enough!), but how they suit the occasion –  the first wine, English Bacchus from South West of England, is a very good one, but my expectations of what to drink with this rainy weather are simply not met. Am I being too picky or indeed there should have been a better selection this time?

Check out if Vinoa still offers this rugby themed wine tasting box as your trial one, click here to receive it by post!

About The Author


Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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