Winemaker Ken Deis has spent nearly 40 vintages working with some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries, from Heitz to Flora Springs to Joseph Phelps, all known for their tasty (and expensive) red wine.
Thanks to Naked Wines, a high end Cabernet crafted by Deis is no longer a guaranteed budget breaker. I just sampled a bottle of the Ken Deis Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s an incredibly smooth and lush cab for — wait for it — $12.99 per bottle!
Now I want to temper your expectations because this is far from being comparable to an $85 and up bottle of Napa Cab, but it is an insane value considering its inexpensive price tag. This is a rich, decadent Cabernet with dark fruit and ripe black cherry notes. It’s ready to drink now but would probably benefit from 6 months to a year in your cellar.
I tend to enjoy young, bold, and “in your face” reds but when I opened the bottle initially, it was wild and untamed. I decanted and came back an hour later and it had softened into a delicious, fruity, and elegant glass of wine.
This wine was tasted courtesy of Naked Wines, a fantastic little startup company that works like a crowd funding campaign for great wine. The company boasts that it can “get you better wines for less money, and still get the winemaker a great deal,” and there’s plenty of truth to that claim.
Consumers sign up as an “Angel” and invest $40 a month into their nakedwines.com piggy bank (which they are free to spend however they choose). Angels get even greater discounts on all wine purchased and quite frankly, the prices are already a bargain. We’ve tried a dozen wines from this company and all were of a much higher quality than their price would suggest.
This piggy bank money is used by the company to invest in talented, independent winemakers who want to focus on making a solid product without all the hassles of big name marketing. The small winemakers get to make the exact wine they want without all the added costs, essentially eliminating the high dollar middleman and passing the savings (and the fruits of their labor) onto real wine fans.
The service is a wine club, but they’ll never send out wine you haven’t ordered (that means no Pinot if you prefer Champagne), and they include free delivery if you spend $100 or more, which is an easy task for any wine lover.
It’s important to note that none of us here at The Grape Geeks have actually signed up for this service (yet), but we have met some of the folks behind the business and they’re awesome wine geeks just like us.
The company sponsored a closing night dinner at the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa and poured over two dozen different wines on offer (the success rate with my palate hovered in the 75% range, which is pretty exceptional). They’ve also generously sent us several bottles to sample and review, and my thoughts are published on our website.
If you’re interested in learning more about Naked Wines, mosey on over to their website at NakedWines.com.