Firstleaf is a monthly wine subscription box founded by Philip James, with the goal of creating the most customer-centric wine club.
Firstleaf partners directly with wineries and winemakers to bring the wine straight to members and boast that it’s the only wine club that tailors its wine choice to an individual member’s preferences.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Firstleaf
The Cost: $79 per box + $9.95 shipping
ACTIVE DEAL: Intro offer $39.95 + free shipping no code needed. No coupon needed - just use this link.
The Products: 6 bottles of wine personalized to your individual tastes.
Ships to: the U.S. where it is legal to receive wine by mail.
Good To Know: You can adjust your shipment frequency and preferences in your account settings. An adult 21+ must be present at the time of delivery to sign for the shipment.
Firstleaf Wine Subscription May 2019 Review
Firstleaf offers an impressive level of customization. You can choose whether to receive all white, all reds, or a mix of both. You can also choose whether to receive US wines, imported wines, or a mix of both. I love that I can also select how frequently that I’d like to receive boxes and indicate my interest in Rose or Sparkling varieties. Detailed product cards are included that provide details about the wine featured in your current box.
A newspaper sized magazine is included and contains a letter from the editor, some featured tasting information, and includes a wine placemat on the back to help you with your ratings.
2017 Threaded Tale Viognier Blend – Listed Value $20.00 (Member Price $18.99)
Tasting Notes: White Flowers, Apricot, Peach
Great wines tell a story. From the moment you lay eyes on the bottle to the very last drop there’s narrative. The Threaded Tale Viognier Blend is like a great book that unfolds as you enjoy it. The different grapes in this Viognier blend all play different parts: Viognier is the protagonist, Vermentino is the best friend, Albariño is the love interest, and Verdelho and Chardonnay are secondary characters. With all of them together the plot unfolds with notes of peaches, citrus, and flowers. Crisp acidity and minerality are the subtext, which turns this novel into a choose your own adventure when paired with different foods. Judges love it too! It took home 91 Points and a Gold medal from the 2019 West Coast Wine Competition.
This semi-sweet white is comprised of 78% Viognier, 9% Vermentino, 7% Albarino, 4% Verdelho, and 2% Chardonnay. It is the perfect white table wine to enjoy with a light meal or chilled on its own. I really enjoyed the sweet finish and apricot notes that were left in my mouth after each sip.
2017 Incarnadine White Wine Blend – Listed Value $23.00 (Member Price $19.99)
Tasting Notes: Orange, Pear, Honey
It’s no secret that bears love honey, and thankfully the Incarnadine White Wine Blend has a rich nose of raw wildflower honey that plays off of the more fruit forward notes of pear, melon, and nectarine. But the Incarnadine doesn’t just have these straightforward flavors, it’s also intensely refreshing and complex on the back end. While drinking it we can’t shake the note of orange pith, which is the type of complexity that puts us in a playful but intentional mood. This white blend is a delight to drink on its own, but it works just as well with food. Some of our favorite pairings have been lightly fried seafood and chicken alongside roast vegetables. Judges love it too! It took home 90 points and a Gold medal from the San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge and Silver medals at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the 2019 Hilton Head Island Wine, and Food International Wine Competition.
This wine is much drier than the last, has a balanced body and moderate acidity. My favorite flavor was the profile of the after-taste, my mouth was left with a sweet, yet slightly bitter (like the orange pith mentioned in the description) taste that was quite pleasing and different than many other blended varieties.
2017 25 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc – Listed Value $24.00 (Member Price $19.20)
Tasting Notes: Mineral, Lemon, Grass
Chile is an amazing place for winemakers to hone their craft. Sitting at 25 degrees latitude, the country spans some of the most diverse microclimates and mesoclimates on Earth. Stretching along 6,000 km of Pacific coastline and into the Andes mountains, Chile contains vineyards thousands of meters above sea level and all the way down to the ocean. Winemakers can pick and choose what types of grapes they want to achieve the perfect balance of acidity and alcohol. The 25 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc is intensely refreshing, with a zesty, mouth puckering acidity. The wine has beautiful, fresh fruit flavors that are offset by fun grassy, herbaceous notes. Our experts say it is a great year-round white. Judges like it too! It took home a Silver Medal at the 2018 Critics Challenge and the International Women's Wine Competition!
I have received this wine in the past and had given it a thumb's up on the Firstleaf site. I was pleased to see it included again! This wine is a crowd pleaser, I'd argue that most people that like white wine would be pleased to enjoy this. It's balanced in body, acidity, sweetness, and fruit. In my opinion, it's just a great white!
2017 Linguist Estates Rosé – Listed Value $18.00 (Member Price $17.00)
Tasting Notes: Pomegranate, Strawberry, Plum
The first release from Linguist Estates was a Firstleaf and wine critic favorite garnering praise from members and wine judges alike. We are happy to announce the return of the Gold medal winning Linguist Estates with this elegant, Provencal-style rosé. This wine is pure and refreshing, with light notes of plum, strawberry, and pomegranate that are bolstered by a bright acidity and dry mouthfeel. It was made intentionally to be paired with food. This is the kind of wine that is at home at almost any table, especially if there is a festive occasion. We think it will go easily with classic roasted poultry or salmon, but the lively acidity means that it can pair well with dishes rich in umami like tomato bruschetta. It recently took home a Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and a Silver at the 2019 Winemaker Challenge.
On the First Leaf site, this is a very highly rated wine, but it just wasn't for me. I thought it was a bit too dry for a Rosé which I tend to prefer a bit sweeter. However, I promise this bottle will not go to waste, I will chill it and enjoy it a glass at a time on my porch. It's something that I could have one small glass of happily, with no risk of draining the bottle!
2017 Scissor Kick Cabernet Sauvignon – Listed Value $22.00 (Member Price $17.60)
Tasting Notes: Blackcurrant, Tobacco, Chocolate
Getting to Australia takes a real effort, but after 24-hour flight, you can walk onto the tarmac in the land down under. It's a different world, with wildlife that exists nowhere else on earth and lots of sun, surf, and sand. Thankfully there are incredible wine growing regions as well. Our experts have found some of the ripest and freshest young Cabernet Sauvignon to bring to the club. A combination of focused red fruits, eucalyptus, tobacco, and dark chocolate are balanced by fine-grained tannins from the short time it spent in oak. It’s a great food wine with a balanced profile that can stand up to rich foods and heavier meats. Judges love it too! It took home a bronze medal from the 2018 Harvest Challenge.
Another repeat! This wine is one that I don't prefer, but that my husband adores and preferably rated. It's a deep, red wine that definitely has a chocolate finish. I think it could hold up to any type of red meat that you could throw at it. I will say that this is a very smooth full-bodied wine – low sweetness and high acidity.
2017 Caligrafica Cabernet Sauvignon - Zinfandel – Listed Value $27.00 (Member Price $21.60)
Tasting Notes: Blackcurrant, Baking Spice, Blackberry
The first release from Caligrafica blew us away and was a runaway success in the club. We couldn’t be more excited to share the second release with you. This opulent wine is a beautiful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel that is perfect for pairing with juicy meats as they come off the grill. With almost all of the grapes coming from Lodi and Sonoma, you can expect incredible flavors. Crisp, dark fruits dance in the glass around hints of herbs, while the tannins are ripe but textured. These tastes come together to offer a food friendly wine that will harmonize perfectly with intensively flavored dishes. Judges love this wine too. It took home a Silver medal at the 2018 Harvest Challenge and the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Again, this is a wine that my husband has sampled before and rated positively on the Firstleaf site. It is a very, very full-bodied and dark, fruity wine. It's a tiny bit sweeter than the last, and could definitely stand up hearty or saucy meat.
Verdict: I continue to enjoy this subscription. First, I love having six bottles show up to my door every month. Second, I love that three of the six this month were ones that I’ve said that I liked in the past. That means only 50% of what I received was a “risk”. Luckily, the only one that I didn’t say yes to receiving again was the blush, but that’s simply a matter of my own personal preference (I prefer sweet blushes over dry ones). Using average prices, you pay around $16.50 per bottle (including shipping) for each of the 6 bottles. Each of these bottles retails for at least that price, so you are definitely saving some money off of full retail.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Because the curation is based on my preferences, it’s unlikely that you would get the same items that I’m showing here.
ACTIVE DEAL: Intro offer $39.95 + free shipping no code needed. No coupon needed - just use this link.
Check out all of our Firstleaf Reviews and look here to find the best wine of the month clubs of 2019!
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