Sunday, 24 June 2012

Naked Wines Tasting Tour 2012 - Cambridge Pt 1

Saturday, 23 June 2012.

Naked Wines Tasting Tour 2012
Part 1 - Europe (France, Spain, Portugal)

A selection of notable wines from the Naked Wines Tasting Tour 2012 in Cambridge, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Didnt manage to taste through all of the 145 wines on offer but I did try the best part of 100 wines and the following were the ones that stood out among the rest - must say there wasnt a bad wine on show. The wines are in the order as it appears in the tasting booklet, and prices are indicated as Retail / Angel Price.

2011 Villebois Loire Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley
£9.99 | £7.49

I tried all of the Villebois Sauvignons and this one offered the best value for money. Smoother and classier than the basic Petit Villebois, all the correct varietal note of green gooseberries with sweet lime notes; flavours are restrained yet vibrant - easy drinking.

2011 St Hillaire Cotes du Rhone Rose
£9.49 | £6.99

A provencal style rose - not your sweet fruit forward, instead a more restrained fruit, nice minerally texture, balancing acidity. A food friendly, grown up style rose. Delicious.

2010 Domaine O'Vineyards Trah Lah Lah
£12.99 | £7.99

Fruit forward style, sweet jammy fruit, not fully extracted; could even be described as a 'lighter' style wine; attractive bright fruit dominates the juicy palate.

2009 Domaine O'Vineyards O'Syrah
£14.99 | £9.99

Deeper fuller style, dark brambly fruit, sweet spice, also a woody /stalky note and hints of tobacco - plenty going on in the nose. On the palate, juicy dark fruit, deeper extraction with balancing acidity; grainy ripe tannins, needs food or some bottle age, drink now - 2015+

2008 Domaine O'Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 
£30.99 | £17.49

40/40/20 blend of Merlot / Syrah / Cabernet Sauvignon with all the bells and whistles of barrel aging. Dark fruit, sweet spice, more brooding nose, smells quite jammy and sweet. Big wine, lots of fruit, feels rather high in alcohol but its in keeping with style; blackberries and dark currants, mouthfilling stuff. Needs food or bottle age, drink now - 2018+

2011 Macon Rouge, Dominic Hentall
Coming soon, below £10?

New Producer to Naked Wines - his Bourgogne Blanc and St Veran is not bad too, but I prefer his reds; prices are approximate based on my chat with Dominic. This is a pure Gamay, clean fruit flavours, quite crunchy with a hint of earthy spice to this; simple flavours, ripe fruit; its bright and juicy.

2010 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Reserve, Dominic Hentall
Coming soon, just a touch above £10?   

Red cherries and red currants, some spice and earthy nose; on the palate its a clean, pure Pinot fruit; ripe red cherries and currants; theres a bright lively acidity, crunchy and light; proper Pinot, everything well knit together; from an excellent vintage, great value too.

2011 Frank Massard Herbis Verdejo
£9.49 | £6.99

Citrus on the nose, with some spritz too; very clean and refreshing on the palate, quite acidic, but its refreshingly so, very clean; nice aperitif style wine, but I imagine this going with seafood and oysters.

2010 Finca El Romero Tinto Carinena
£11.99 | £8.99

Old vine Carinena (aka Carignan in the Languedoc). Dark fruit, lots of secondary character - meaty, smoked ham / gamey nose, with funky sweaty leather and earthy spice nose. Palate is generous, ripe fruit but isnt immediately forward, more rustic style; nice presence and mid palate length; a food wine again, but will drink well on its own. Lovely style and good value, just love these old vine Carignans.

NV Mas Sardana Cava
£10.99 | £7.99

A zero dosage / brut natural Cava. Appley and green pears on the nose; lots of citrus on the palate, very slight bready / yeasty development on the palate, very refreshing and really runs through; acidity is high, but not overly so, remains easy drinking; lovely aperitif style.  

2011 Filigrana Alvarinho
£10.99 | £7.99

Lots of citrus, also a slight cheesy / savoury / salty nose; clean and refreshing on the palate, medium acidity, light body, refreshing stuff; not overly complicated - crying out for seafood and sunshine.

2007 Evidencia Dao
£8.99 | £6.49

Sweet red fruit on the nose, some vanilla, with earthy / truffle notes; proper ripe red fruit showing on the palate, juicy and bright, nice burst of flavour at the front, hardly any tannins; uncomplicated, very easy drinking. I'd happily drink this on its own.

2010 Montaria Reserva
£9.99 | £7.49

Sweet dark fruit with obvious sweet oak on the nose; big flavours on the palate, jammy blackberries, overt dark fruit, its more extracted and spent more time in oak; they are going for Parkerised, showy wine and gets away with it; ripe tannins at the end. Needs food or bottle age, drink now - 2015+.

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