Got a six pack of samples through from innovative new-ish retailer Naked Wines. It’s headed up by the entrepreneurial Rowan Gormley, who was the founder of Virgin Wines.
The good news? The buying seems to be very good: these are all delicious examples of their type.
The less-good news? The pricing. Even though they are good examples of their type, these wines are significantly more expensive than I’d have predicted, based on how much Naked Wines will presumably have paid for them. The direct buying model means that these are all effectively Naked Wines ‘own label’, so a price comparison is not possible. But I wouldn’t recommend any of these wines, tasty as they are, at these prices.
[added later: apparently, 92% of customers get a 33% cash-back, which makes the prices more reasonable, and with which I'd be happy to recommend these wines]
Benjamin Darnault Picpoul de Pinet 2009 Languedoc
12.5% alcohol. Nice, pure pear and white peach fruit with an attractive texture and sufficient acidity to keep it fresh. Lovely balance and purity of fruit here. Thoroughly drinkable. 88/100 (£9.99 Naked Wines)
Benjamin Darnault Organic St Chinian 2009 Languedoc
14.5% alcohol. Lovely fresh dark cherry and blackberry fruit with great definition. Some meaty, bloody, spicy savoury notes, too. Very nice balance between the sweet and savoury here, with some grippy tannins. Really attractive wine. 89/100 (£12.99 Naked Wines)
Rote Haus Wiener Gemischter Satz Classic Trocken 2009 Austria
12.5% alcohol. Very crisp, bright and minerally with lovely freshness and precision. Very pure citrus and grapefruit notes with great acidity. A lovely fresh, light white wine. 88/100 (£12.68 Naked Wines)
Kimbao by Garcia Schwaderer Cabernet Sauvignon Carménère 2009 Central Valley, Chile
14% alcohol. Very attractive sweet blackcurrant and dark cherry fruit here with good definition and just a hint of meat and tar in the background. Ripe but not jammy: simple yet delicious. 87/100 (£8.99 Naked Wines)
Brewery Hill Reserve Shiraz 2008 South Australia
14.5% alcohol. Ripe, full and nicely balanced with a spicy, savoury edge to the ripe blackberry and plum fruit. Sweet and rich but with nice tar and spice savouriness. A dense, boldly flavoured Aussie Shiraz. 87/100 (£11.99 Naked Wines)
Small and Small Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Sylvia Reserve 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Overtly green gooseberry and green pepper nose. Concentrated, rich, green herby palate with some tropical fruit richness. There’s fruit sweetness here. Lots of flavour impact; made in a seductive style. 87/100 (£13.99 Naked Wines)