Sunday, 9 January 2011

Naked Wines - £40 off Voucher (post-xmas value wines)

Hello All!

If you're anything like me, then you have a large black hole in your wallet after Christmas. However, you also love wine and don't really want to give it up. You also don't want to drink crap for the next few months while your balance recovers. The solution is to drink Frugally; keep an eye out for offers, sales and bargains etc. Most places are holding off on the VAT rise until the end of January so now could be a good time to stock up and save.

One such offer I was keen to try was the £40 off a case at Naked Wines. You need to spend £79.99 or more on a case to get the £40 off but even then, with delivery, a case of 12 works out at only £45. Bargain. Oh, and if you're anything like me and bought some Christmas presents on Amazon, then you will have received the same offer, telling you to go to enter the code AMAZ4007 and password VINEYARD to claim your discount. I am also going to be looking at great value offerings from Slurp very soon too. They have an enormous range and some great names.

Anyway, I opted for the "Wine Advisor's Top Picks" mixed case which was £94.99. Even with delivery (£4.99 next-day), after discount this worked out at £60 for 12 bottles. £5-a-bottle: Not too bad at all.

I must admit, I was very apprehensive of Naked Wines. They support the small growers (nothing wrong with that!) that can't get noticed or do not have enough funds to market their wines properly. The burning question in the back of my head was; "Why are they small?". Is it because the wines are crap and don't sell? Anyway, things weren't helped by the fact that Naked seem to put their own labels on most of the wines, with quotes supposedly straight from the Winemaker's mouth, conspicuously all saying the exact same thing; "I hope you enjoy drinking this as much as I enjoyed making it". Yeah, right. Oh and they're badly glued on, like someone in Goods Outwards got bored of Prit-Sticking them on, one Friday afternoon.  Most were nearly falling off. If the winemakers can't afford to put labels on then..... "Oh dear, here we go..." were my thoughts as I tried my best to keep an open mind and let the wines speak for themselves...

...and I was pleasantly surprised! There were some real gems, most were at least drinkable to good and there were no real turds. The best are below:

Rimbaldi, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, 2009 

The Look: A deep, opaque purple with a violet rim.

The Smell: Smells lovely, smoky, spicy and red fruit such as strawberry, raspberry and cherry.

The Taste: Beautiful, fresh, bright acidity. Refreshing for a red, lots of fruit including strawberry and under-ripe plum. Not harsh in the slightest. Some hints of cinnamon or clove or something reminiscent of mulled-wine. Similar in style and weight to a good Rioja, but cheaper! 

The Score: Superb for the money. Best Italian Red so far in the Blog's history. 8/10. Highly Recommended.

VFM: At the case price of £5-a-bottle this is cracking value at VFM = 1.6. 

Classic South, Sauvignon Blanc, Nelson, 2010

The Look: A medium lemony yellow with some pale green tinges.

The Smell: Classic NZ Sauv Blanc; citrus, tropical fruit, grass, peas in the pod, gooseberry.

The Taste: Wow! Lots of fruit! Bursting with pink grapefruit, lemon/lime and tropical fruits. Zesty acidity. Balance. A real mouthful of fruit. 

The Score: Great. You can't get better for £5. Fact. 8/10. Highly Recommended.

VFM: Again, at the case price of £5-a-bottle this is amazing value, VFM = 1.6. 

 Brewery Hill, Shiraz, S.E. Australia, 2009

The Look: A super-dark, inky, opaque purple with a violet rim.

The Smell: Black fruit, plums, spice, peppery and some caramel sweetness.

The Taste: Superb. Smooth, dense mouthfeel. Plenty of fruit, blackberry and cherry with peppery spice. More "Syrah" in style than "fruit-bomb" Aussie Shiraz. More complex. Hints of  menthol and well-integrated tannins.

The Score: Stunning. I don't know whether I'm in a particularly generous mood today, but this could be one of the best Aussie Shirazes we've had. So much more than fruit and alcohol.  8.5/10. Highly Recommended.

VFM: At £5, this is probably as good as you're going to get, VFM = 1.7.

Vivolo di Sasso, Pinot Grigio, Veneto, 2009

The Look: Pale, watery lemon with definite greenish hues.

The Smell: Very intriguing, a varied blend of whiffs including Almonds, Marzipan, honeycomb, fruitcake and banana? Yep, banana!

The Taste: All the smells translate to tastes as well; A superb sweetness/acidity balance. Banana, fruitcake, honey along with an indistinguishable, smooth, sweetly acidic fruit, apricot? Maybe peach or mellon also? D said; "Creamy banana cheesecake!". Seriously complex with a spicy/minerally finish too. A big surprise as we weren't expecting much from this!

The Score: Very good. Knocks spots off the Gallons of crappy Pinot Grigio on the supermarket shelves for £5.  7.5/10. Recommended.

VFM: At £5, this is great value, VFM = 1.5.


It was great to be surprised when you're not expecting much. It happens all-too-often the other way around, when you're expecting great things from a wine and it disappoints. Anyway, the rest of the case wasn't too bad either;


Getting 7 out of 10 were the Calicata Malbec 2010 from Mendoza, very fruity and drinkable, just not that complex - a good introduction to Malbec maybe, and the Domaine la Serre Picpoul de Pinet 2009 that I whipped out in the Wine-Off. Great with fish.

Getting 6.5 out of 10 were a brace of wines; Foley's Corner Reserve Merlot 2008, Aussie Merlot, big, smoky plums, alcohol a little hot but not too bad. It did turn to "Port" by the following day! Cristia Grenache Syrah 2009, very smooth French blend with lots of raspberry and cherry. Very refreshing, light red and easy to knock-back! Mistral Chardonnay 2009 from Chile's Central Valley. Restrained and minerally, some tropical fruit but in all a bit too bitter on the finish. Better with food. Villebois Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from the Loire.  Very drinkable and fruity for a French Sauv Blanc. Grassy and minerally dry finish. Decent and drinkable. 

Getting a 6/10 was the Australian Semillon/Chardonnay/Viognier blend D'Aquino Cuvee Zina Reserve 2009. Tasted of pear but had a very harsh acidic finish and the alcohol was overtly apparent (even at only 12.5%).

The bummer of the pack was Mistral Carmenere 2009 getting 5.5/10. Bright acidity with plum and redcurrant. Ok, but not great. Bitterness on the finish let it down. This seems loved by Naked 's customers. I don't know, maybe it was a Root Day?

So that's it. If you're after some bargains then I'd suggest the recommended 4 above, and be sure to use the £40 voucher. I'll be taking a look at some bargains from Slurp very soon, all between £6 and £9 a bottle to aid the post-xmas light wallet.

If you're interested in investing in wine then you can read about our experience of entering the market here:

As always...

Speak to you soon.



No comments:

Post a Comment