Find out which Naked Wines products are the best buys this fall, including suggestions for both intriguing new releases and reliable oldies.
Over the past few years, online wine shop Naked Wines has significantly expanded and improved its selection. As they now strive to bring a larger selection of wine genres to satisfy the tastes of new consumers, buying director Matt Smith and wine director Ray O’Connor MW have continued to fill what they regarded as significant gaps in the portfolio across several traditional areas.
The organization, known as “Angels,” uses a crowd-funding business model to finance the costs of winemakers’ production while offering its members, who are called “Angels,” specially crafted wine straight from its producers.
The top 30 purchases from Naked Wines this fall are listed below.
reports of declining sales and a loss of £15 million
Despite a rise in revenue and subscribers during the pandemic (which saw a jump in the UK from 260,000 to 350,000), the country’s membership today stands at about 300,000.
Smith stated, “We haven’t been actively seeking out new clients lately; instead, we’ve been concentrating on giving our members an outstanding experience. Driving innovation, locating top-notch wines and spirits, expanding the selection somewhat, filling some gaps, and keeping things incredibly interesting [for members].
Despite total sales increasing 1% year over year, the company’s delayed announcement of its financial year-to-April 2023 figures, published on September 19, 2023, shows a £15 million loss.
The outcomes also demonstrate that the company’s’slower than projected’ start to the new trade year has resulted in a sharp decline in share values.
Rowan Gormley, the company’s founder and former CEO, left in the beginning of 2020 but came back as chairman in July 2023. He stated that the current trading environment is difficult in a letter to shareholders. According to him, “high inflation, higher alcohol taxes, and declining disposable incomes have put pressure on sales and costs.”
Price rises that cannot be avoided
The current UK tariff increase has not spared the company, despite it absorbing costs amid growing inflation and rises throughout the supply chain.
O’Connor added, “It’s a new landscape. We’ve tried to offset as much as possible, but when the new duty came in [in August 2023] – there’s nothing you can do.”
As a result, retailers had to raise their per-bottle rates, which is evident throughout the industry.
Tasting the range
There are still numerous wines available that provide outstanding value for the money, despite these price increases.
According to Smith, Naked Wines has “made good progress in filling in gaps in the range” during the past year by introducing 19 new Bordeaux wines as well as traditional types from the northern Rhône and Alsace.
O’Connor added, “Angels ask us a lot for wines from Croatia.” The store has long been strong in wines from eastern Europe. Check out the retailer’s latest Istrian producer, Malvazija Istarska from Kabola.
One of Naked Wines‘ selling points is highlighting underrated locations, and it has led to the introduction of two delectable new wines from the Custoza appellation in Italy’s Veneto region. Tenuta Monte Fitti Custoza Superiore, a wine that costs under £20, with upfront scents of ripe fleshy peach, apricot kernel, marzipan, and preserved lemon. It is simple to sip, succulent, and lip-smacking. The Monte del Frà Sexaginta Custoza Superiore, which costs a little more but offers a whole other level of power and luxury, exhibits true Burgundian grace and finesse.
The choices below do Chile exceptionally well, with one white and two reds to look for. O’Connor remarked, “It’s Chile, but not as you know it,” and he was correct; all three highlight specific grape varieties, are very affordable, and have a lot of depth and focus on display.
The Green Grape logo
The Green Grape logo for Naked Wines was unveiled this year. According to Luke Landers, senior sustainability manager for the company, “by working closely with winemakers we’ve reviewed how they have been trying to minimise their impact right from grape to glass.”
More than 100 of the 600 wines in its lineup have received the new branding. As the green movement in wine advances, “We plan to continue developing the framework and reflecting best practice,” said Landers.
In an effort to reduce its carbon emissions, the corporation has made certain environmentally significant commitments, such as saving 500 tonnes of glass in 2022 and 6.5 million bottles as of summer 2023.
The company also recently disclosed that it is producing an increasing number of its wines without plastic or foil covers, starting with 11 of its wines currently and increasing to 17 by the end of March in 2019.
According to Landers, “more than a quarter of a million bottles will be capsule-less, helping us avoid more than 230kg of unnecessary packaging.”
Decanter Retailer Awards: Runner Up
The Decanter Retailer Awards 2023 have revealed that Naked Wines is the runner-up in the category for Best Large Online Retailer.
For the majority of wines, Naked Wines‘ website lists both a member pricing and a non-member price. All wines are compared to comparable wines sold on the UK market and then blind tasted. Thus, the retail price of these comparable wines—or what Naked considers the market price—determines the non-member price.
Depending on the comparable wines they were compared to, this can be anywhere from 0% and 60% more expensive than the Angel’s price. Some wines on the website are available only to members and are referred to as “Angel exclusives.”
Being a member also gives clients a platform to interact and communicate with the winemakers directly. By rating wines and interacting with winemakers through its online wine community, members ultimately determine whether Naked keeps selling the wines.
View ratings and tasting notes for 30 of Naked Wines best finds:
The list below contains both wines available to non-members as well as wines available only to members. Instances where the wine is only available to members have been noted in the tasting remark.
Champagne Trisilice, Champagne, France, Constantine
a color of golden yellow. Pastry and a herbal taste are blended with the fragrances of lemon and white blossoms. Fresh apples and crushed oyster shells are tasted in the initial sip, which is quickly followed by delicate brioche tones and a chalky textural elegance. Champagne with a strong mineral component that offers good value. membership only.
Simpsons of Barham Court, Beora Reserve, Kent, England, United Kingdom 2021
Compared to earlier versions, this vintage from the Simpsons Wine Estate team in Kent is a tad tauter and more tightly wrapped. In the UK, 2021 was a rather challenging vintage due to widespread frost, rainy weather, and freezing temperatures, however Simpsons avoided much of the frost’s effects.
Domaine Kirrenbourg, Riesling Roche Granitique, Alsace, France 2019
This has all the style and grace of Alsatian Riesling at a reasonable cost. Imagine intense lime cordial, beeswax, kerosene, acacia, jasmine, and nectarine sweetness as the initial smells. In the mouth, it seems large and supple, filling every space.
Katie Jones, Les Vignes Cachées, Vin de France, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 2021
In this Vignes Cachées (‘hidden vines’) cuvée, Katie Jones combines the two white Grenache relatives. It begins with delicate lemon rind, red apple, and white blossom in the style of a wine-Alice in Wonderland before descending into a tunnel of toast, cinnamon spice, and tonka bean.
Monte del Frà, Sexaginta, Custoza, Superiore, Veneto, Italy 2018
The Veneto region’s Custoza is a minor appellation devoted to the production of white wines. Here, the grape varietals Garganega, Cortese, and Trebbiano take center stage in a marvelously powerful, serious, and even opulent wine. A sophisticated blend of preserved lemon, dried apricot, orange rind, and smoke from a struck match seeps in…
Ramón do Casar, Nobre, Ribeiro, Spain 2021
Golden-yellow in color and revealing flavors of luscious pineapple and white peach while being supported by toasty and vanilla undertones in the glass. The palate moves smoothly through, leaving behind lingering notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and acacia.
Domaine du Château de Pierreclos, 1er Cru Au Vignerais Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy, France 2022
Strong, bassy scents of pineapple, lemon zest, honey, and honeysuckle emerge from the glass against a background of smokey, flinty intrigue. It is rich and sumptuous, full of flavor, and powerful.
Richard Kershaw, Richard’s Elgin Chardonnay, Elgin, South Africa 2020
A magnificent Chardonnay vintage combined with a very skilled winemaker in South Africa’s cold Elgin wine area can only produce a mouthwatering, premium wine. Elegant and rich fragrances, such as toasted, peppery, vanilla, and lit match.
Carl Loewen, Maximin Herrenberg Alte Reben Riesling Trocken, Mosel, Germany 2021
This wine has a definite flinty, mineral edge that frames a rich citrus center. Great freshness and varietal flavor are provided by concentrated lime zest and delicious candied lemon peel. a lively, well-defined wine. Price for members: £24.99. Price for non-members: £29.99.
Katie Jones, All Good Things Sur Lie, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc, France 2021
A somewhat different version of Picpoul de Pinet with a distinctive bottle design! Thanks to the time spent sur lie (on the lees), we have a rich, creamy expression of the style in this wine. With a dollop of creamy yoghurt, juicy pineapple, lemon, peach, and apricot swirl together.
Dominic Hentall, Terra Bianca, Puglia, Italy 2022
This popsicle tastes like a sunshine fruit bomb and is quite fragrant. The mouth is stuffed with mango, papaya, and passion fruit. It truly has a full body, is rich, and tastes pretty good. The finish has a wonderful, luscious acidity. reveals its rich, very fruity side, which is southern Italian.
Ethereo, Albariño, Rías Baixas, Spain 2022
This wine has intense lime and lemon flavors that give it an almost minty freshness. The mouthful is extremely succulent and moreish, with a gentle tongue grip from the combination of freshness and saltiness. A midweek aperitif that is delicious and reasonably priced. Price for members: £13.99.
Solomoné, Tsitska-Tsolikouri-Krakhuna, Imereti, Georgia 2021
Georgia has been producing wine for many thousands of years, yet you might not have even had any. Given that this is one of the more approachable styles, this is a fantastic place to start.
Tenuta Monte Fitti, Custoza, Superiore, Veneto, Italy 2021
juicy, plump peaches, apricot kernels, marzipan, preserved lemon, and some tropical pineapple are the initial scents. rounded and oily in the mouth, with a beautiful bitter almond flavor and orange, lemon, and bitter orange rind. It is creamy yet very delicate and lovely.
Kabola, Malvazija Istarska, Istria, Coastal, Croatia 2022
A rather lean, green-fruited style with good freshness from gooseberry and elderflower flavors. Sappy and taut on the palate, this well-structured white would go well with poultry recipes that have subtle flavors. Price for members: £17.99. Price for non-members: £19.99.
Boschkloof, Montagu White, Western Cape, South Africa 2022
This wine, which blends some Colombard with Chenin Blanc, is fragrant with notes of ripe pineapple and passion fruit. The exotic fruit is supported by notes of freshly cut grass. Cost to members: £10.99
Kimbao, Pedro Jimenez, Coquimbo, Chile 2022
The Pedro Jimenez (sometimes written Pedro Ximenez) grape varietal, which is most usually found in sweet fortified form in southern Spain, is used to make this delightful Chilean treat for fans of aromatic white wine. Despite its flowery, tropical scents and flavors, this is sharp and dry.
Virgile Joly, Bourret, Pays d’Oc, Languedoc, France 2022
An expression of the historic Terret Bourret grape varietal that is light and fruity, with wonderful crisp green apple and yellow plum characteristics. There is still a crisp, acidic snap to the finish despite the concentrated flavors and silky, even somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Drinkable and relaxed
Ancient Valley, Aleksandrouli, Racha-Lechkhumi, Georgia 2019
Ray and Matt, the buyers for Naked Wines, put Georgia at the top of their list of places to visit, and together with their first Georgian winemaker Luka Beshidze, they discovered some approachable wines at reasonable pricing points.
Chris Baker, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills, Oregon, USA 2021
The taste is beautifully mouthfilling, with bags of juicy blueberries, wild strawberries, crushed raspberries, and vanilla bustling in and out on the scent. Juicy, plump black cherries wrapped in dark chocolate and liquorice with a tangerine lift make this dessert seductive and enticing.
Luca Hodgkinson, Sabatico Garnacha, Maule Valley, Chile 2017
An exquisitely rich yet approachable wine is produced by old Garnacha vineyards in Chile’s Maule Valley. Together with cassia bark and sweet spice, delicate notes of wild strawberry and sweet blueberry ebb and flow.
Sam Plunkett, 1919 Plantings Shiraz, Victoria, Australia 2021
Beautifully ripe Shiraz that is bold and upfront with magnificent sweeping red cherry, small red forest berries, crisp plums, and spice. This is a lovely drop that is swooning and juicy, succulent and elevated. Price for members: £19.99. Price for non-members: £19.99.
Valdaya, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, Castilla y León, Spain 2018
This outstanding statement wine is made from Tempranillo grapes grown on old bush vines. Bold and direct with a meaty undertone and velvety black fruit. With oak flavor, tar, smoke, fat, luscious berries, and sweet plum sauce, this drink is slick and serious. The texture is sophisticated, silky, solemn, and delectable.
Chateau Qanafar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2015
A powerful and strong wine with plenty of sweet cooked plums, juicy blueberries, blackcurrants, and intensely spicy plum jam on the palate. Through notes of cedar, cigar, tea leaves, and roasted coffee beans, it is displaying tertiary development. It ends with a faint ferrous taste.
Château Durfort-Vivens, Relais de Durfort-Vivens, Margaux, Bordeaux 2017
Liquorice, black tea, luscious black cherries, and sour liquorice are among the ominous odors of blueberry and bramble fruit. It has a smooth, silky mouthfeel and exhibits exquisite tannins and juicy acidity. Round, ripe, and smooth, but with a freshness that comes from the graphite leafiness.
Jean Esprit, Perles Noires, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône, France 2020
Deep and inky with ripe, rich black cherries, blueberries, bramble, and damson aromas that are edging toward compote. The aromatics also have an elevated, high-toned quality that makes them stand out even more from the glass.
Katie Jones, Au Revoir Monsieur Jones, Languedoc, France 2022
This wonderful wine welcomes you with bright and lively scents of shining red apple skin and luscious red cherries. This wine is a narrative unto itself.
Cristian Azocar, Serendipia Cabernet Franc, Cachapoal Valley, Chile 2018
There is no denying the grape variety here because to the gorgeously fresh notes of blackberries and tomato leaves. This wine has luscious blackcurrant coulis and blueberries, which give it a full-throttle fruit flavor.
Negreiros, Reserva, Douro Valley, Portugal 2018
A big, strong wine with flavors of bramble, black forest fruit, and blackcurrant coulis, as well as menthol and eucalyptus that are reviving. It has a long finish, a close tannic frame, is full-bodied and warming, powerful and spicy, and has a robust body.
Marcelo Bocardo, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2022 Malbec, ah. The best way to delight a crowd. This specific Marcelo Bocardo product is robust and dependable, displaying vibrant, pop-off black fruit flavors and aromas. Many black cherries, plums, and blueberries, together with a pleasant seam of moist minerals and stones.