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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Naked Wines in Cambridge

Is Naked Wines an online wine retailer, or an events and social media company with a sideline in quaffable crowd-pleasers ?

Last week, Naked brought their innovative approach to wine retailing (as well as a number of their winemakers) to Cambridge as part of their 2012 tour of UK cities; no formal presentation, limited technical information in the hand-out, just the chance to get up close and personal with the winemakers themselves.

I went along to try out some wines familiar and new - and in the process bumped into a large number of fellow Cambridge-based wine enthusiasts, including Davy Kurniawian who has already written up his thoughts on his Vinoremus blog.

Prices and full details are on the Naked Wines site, but unless otherwise, they were generally around £10 before Angel discounts.

New Zealand

Lay of the Land Destination SB 2011 is a half-step away from the typical, signature Marlborough Sauvignon; with three months spent on the lees it feels softer, fuller and more rounded out.

Small and Small Theodore SB 2011 is several steps away - with 10% of the blend spending 8 months in new oak, it has a mouthfillingly oaky, creamy texture.

The Riesling 2011 has a linear, citrus purity that is reminiscent of the Australian style; this wine has a Gold Medal from Sydney.

The Pinot Noir 2011 is pale in the glass, aromatic on the nose with sweet red berry fruit, a toasty smokiness, savoury depth and juicy acidity with good grip on the finish. Textbook entry-level Pinot.


Tilia Estate Pinot Gris 2011 has a smokey, toasty nose, rounded acidity and a touch of spice, with apples and pears as well as stone fruit.


Rotes Haus Gemischter Satz 2010 is a field blend of mainly Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, fermented half in stainless steel for freshness and half in vats for rounded fullness. It is crisp and aromatic with, unusually, aromas of bananas as well as spice and has a rounded, soft and creamy texture.

Landhaus Mayer Riesling 2011 is rounded and citrus-sherberty with a Mosel-esque sweet-sourness.


The Negreiros Douro 2008 has funky, herbaceous and struck-match aromas with red and black cherry fruit; balanced with good acidity.

The Filigrana Alvarinho 2011 showed aromas of petrol and sweat on the nose, with sherbert and zesty citrus pith on the palate. Crisp and linear with good depth of flavour.

The Montaria Reserva 2010 red shows cherry and prune fruit, with vanilla spice and liquorice. Complex, rounded and mouthfilling with gentle grip on the finish, it has an IWC Silver.


The Franck Massard Herbis Verdejo 2011 is grown at an altitude of 850m; aromatic on the nose, it is crisp and herbaceous yet rounded. It has an IWC Silver.

I tried, but was less inpressed with the wines from Carlos Rodriguez


Ryan O'Connell is an American who moved to Languedoc to make wine - his Domaine O'Vineyards Proprietor's Reserve 2008 is a Big, Oaky Red - a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan it has a perfumed nose of vanilla, liquorice and spice, with black cherry fruit, juicy acidity, an inky texture and an impressively complex palate.

Stylistically, a little too over-the-top for me - and not cheap at £17.49 even for Angels.

Recommended Wines

As ever, there were lots of affordable, well-made quaffers here - with a high degree of consistency.

The NZ Sauvignons were interesting as they suggest a new direction for this region. The Small and Small Pinot was also worthy of investigation as a reliable, textbook example.

My two favourites, however, were from Portugal; the Filigrana Alvarinho 2011 and the Montaria Reserva 2010.

Review by Davy Kurniawian on Vinoremus:

Part 1
Part 2


Naked Wines - http://www.nakedwines.com/

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