Nigel on Scott McLeod Matt Parish Pilot Hill Gang Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot El Dorado County 2014
Sad that Scott is leaving us but happy that Matt's capable hands and prodigious wine making skills will be watching the Hill and making the wine again. This is a huge wine - from the strong legs (thighs?) on the glass to it's dark plummy color to the aroma that leaps out of the glass even with no decanting. I tasted figs and caramel in this full bodied, fruit forward delight; the Merlot used in this must be top notch - the perfume-like quality was very noticeable. Balancing this, was the distinctive backbone of leathery Cabernet Sauvignon. Typical of a great Bordeaux this wine was greater than the sum of its parts, yet the two varietals were very much identifiable in the flavor profile. Soft tannins and balanced acidity yield a dark currant-like chewiness and a complex aftertaste that lingers. With a few more in the cellar put away for a few years, Nigel is a happy camper!
Nigel on Jim Olsen White Barbera Sierra Foothills 2016
I think it is a testimony to Jim's skill as a winemaker, his engaging personality and his credibility of character that this wine was selected from among many others in the Wine Maker Fantasy competition last year.
Jim has had a fascination with all things Barbera for some time and I recall him telling me several years ago now about how he was going to make is now-famous Red Barbera. If I remember correctly, he said that rather than use a malolactic fermentation to tame the acidity, he was going to try temperature control and maceration technique to achieve a moderate acidity but with leaving the immense fruit flavor intact.
So, here we are with the White Barbera. An unknown, never before made wine. A bold move to make a delicate wine from a robust red grape.
At first look in the glass, I can hardly see it - it is almost colorless, a very pale yellow tinged with a hint of "gris." At 13.0% alcohol, the legs are well-defined and strong. The aroma floats out of the glass presenting me with floral notes, a bit of marzipan, very delicate and eclectic but fully present.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly big and round; I would love to serve this wine as a greeting wine at a dinner party and see my guests' reaction - not what one would expect from the appearance and aroma. I tasted a complex, bright and vibrant wine - cotton candy, honeydew melon and a lingering dryness of stone fruit pits.
The wine is described as sweet but I have to say that Jim has built in such complexity that I didn't feel that I was drinking a typical sweet wine. It is very elegant, interesting to say the least, unique among all the wines one could imagine. I expect the wine making process itself would have been equally fearless, complex and elegant, accompanied by Jim's kindness, humor and rich talent for witty repartee. Is this wine the essence of Jim Olsen in a bottle?
I had to give this 5 hearts. I do like my roast pork and I do like to drink Viognier with it. This wine was a lush, golden yellow color, true to form. It had a remarkable, full mouthfeel that made you want to stop and feel the moment before swallowing. It really is that good. I noted flavors of lemon meringue, some butter, apricot and a hint of lemongrass. It did go well with the pork shoulder roast! What a great wine and such a value.
At Naked Wines we define fine wines as wines that need more than one year from vine to table. This is a subject of very heated and earnest debate among wine enthusiasts, and every one of them seems to have their own definition. So we just picked the one that made the most sense to us!
In our humble opinion (and there are many who would disagree) fine wines are not NECESSARILY:
From classic regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy. Other less well known regions are capable of producing wines that blind taste tests rate as equivalent or even better than the classic regions.
Estate Wines. Many expensive wines source most of their grapes from independent growers.
In September 2013, we launched a Fine Wine Bond where we raised £5 million to invest in the 'top-end' stuff.
So we're well armed to take on the fine wine market with a bang - and our range of fine wines will be increasing over the next few months / years!
The bond offer is now closed, but we might run another issue in the future if there's enough interest…
Smart move - you've found the Sweet Spot
Here's a juicy little nugget of insider info…
When it comes to wine, a small step in price = a HUGE leap in quality and taste
By spending $11 - $15 for a bottle of wine, you're actually getting more than DOUBLE the quality of wine than a $8 - $10 bottle... pretty impressive huh?
Sound too good to be true? It's not. Here's how it works...
The first several bucks you pay for a bottle covers basics that don't make the wine taste any better (glass bottle, bottling, labeling, closure, etc). As the price of a bottle increases, more of your money goes towards the delicious juice in the bottle rather than dry goods, taxes, and other boring stuff that adds nothing to the taste.
So you get a LOT more bang for your buck
These Sweet Spot wines have benefited from the very best fruit picked from immaculate vineyards, oodles of TLC, and a lil' extra Angel-funding at every step of the winemaking process.
Pull yer socks up. Because if these Sweet Spot beauties don't blow 'em off I don't know what will
I guarantee our Sweet Spot wines will blow you away. If they don't, then I'll give you every single penny back. So you've really got nothing to lose.
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