This is my first bottle of any Hidden Talent Wine. It's funny, I'm completely lacking a gambling gene, but the lure of a 'bargain' overwhelms that, except that whilst I have a cheap streak it doesn't extend to my palate. However, I had a positive mini review from a 3rd party I trusted to be unbiased and who appreciates fine wines, therefore I considered this less of a gamble than buying a labelled wine which I hadn't tasted myself.
Though this is a 'cleanskin', the bottles do have the HTW label on them which is nice as it saves me getting the paint pen out. The website doesn't say it, but the label says this weighs in at 14.5%.
I didn't decant this, and though I gave it a few mins in the glass to let the volatiles out, with my first smell and taste I got hit by an excess of sulphur, so my advice is definitely let this one breathe a bit. But to be fair I am quite sensitive to SO2.
So, after some air for 30 mins, it's got a subtle mixed spice aroma of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. It's somewhat medium bodied which is typical for the region, but the spices hit the tongue even before you swallow, and what I really like was it's not a pepper spice a la Heathcote. This is not to say I don't like pepper in my Shiraz since I most certainly do, but variety is the spice of...ah, anyway...the finish is long, balanced and complex with a few plums also saying hello, and most appreciably the acid is present but not standing out like a sore thumb. The wine continued to improve as it breathed for 3 hours, and it coped just fine with a seared T-Bone basted with peri peri and soy.
If HTW can keep sourcing wines as good as this, they should do well. Definitely recommended.
The only thing I didn't like was not knowing who the talent is, so in case the winemaker reads this: yum!