Smidge Wines - 2005 - The Houdini

Smidge Wines is one of a handful of wineries that really stood out for me back in January at the Wine Australia Festival. That in mind, I decided, their wines were well worth a closer look. Over the next couple of days I'll examine three of their current releases. While Smidge Wines in Australia is a relatively new project, it's headed by some solid experience in the industry. Matt Wenk who founded Smidge Wines with his Wife Trish is the head winemaker at Barossa's highly regarded Two Hands. That he decided to focus some of his attention on his own boutique project is a boon for lovers of Australian Wine. First up from Smidge Wines is The Houdini. This wine is a blend of 50% Shiraz, 25%The Houdini Zinfandel and 25% Merlot. Each varietal was aged separately in neutral oak and blended right before bottling. 330 Cases were produced.

The Houdini's nose reveals big, rich, dark berry fruit along with some subtler spice notes. As soon as I took the first sip I was hit with cassis and big jammy fruit. The mid-palate has a ton more dark berry fruit accompanied by mocha notes that become more prominent as The Houdini opens up. The finish on this wine is solid and filled with lots of spice and lingering mocha characteristics. This is a well balanced wine with good acidity.

The Houdini drinks pretty well right out of the bottle, but a solid hour in the decanter allows it sufficient time to reveal many of it's more complex qualities. The 25% Merlot that was blended in provides a solid backbone and some silky textures for this wine, allowing the brighter fruit of the Shiraz and Zinfandel to really shine up front. It pairs well with grilled meats and strong cheeses.

Smidge Wines The Houdini is an easy drinking wine with relatively soft tannins. I wouldn't expect it to improve much in the bottle, but 2-5 years of enjoyable drinking certainly seem plausible. The Houdini's most impressive trick is how quickly it disappears from your glass.

The suggested retail price for The Houdini is $24. At that price, this wine is delivers a lot of pleasure.

Up Next from Smidge Wines: The Adamo Barossa Valley Shiraz 

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