The Hidden Gem range sells for exactly $3 a bottle at First Choice Liquor (or $2.85 in a mixed six) and $4 a bottle at Liquorland. In other words, this is about as cheap as wine gets, in a bottle anyway. I’ve previously tried the Cabernet Merlot and today I’m reviewing one of the whites, the Hidden Gem Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2018.
There isn’t a lot of information around about this wine,or any of the others in this range. The label says, in tiny print, that it is produced by an outfit called James Busby Fine Wines, which appears to be one of Coles’ many “private label” producers. There’s no region listed, of course, so we can assume the grapes for this are sourced from wherever they are cheapest.
Scoring wines at this price point from a value perspective is a little tricky. At $3 a bottle, they have a very low hurdle to jump to be considered good or fair value. I don’t think anyone is buying these expecting fireworks. At best, you’re probably just hoping for something that’s not terrible; something you can drink when you get home from work without really thinking about it. On that basis, how does it fare?
Hidden Gem Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Pretty well, I’ve got to say. The nose isn’t great, though it’s certainly bearable. There’s a little citrus but also an industrial feel like sorbolene, though it’s subtle enough to ignore. It’s quite dry and slightly tart on the palate but not unbearably so. Importantly, there’s no distractingly bad flavourshere, just a kind of lemon water quality. Overall, it tastes and feels cheap but nowhere near terrible. It’s perfectly drinkable, really. Frankly, I’ve had much worse at higher price points. As far as mid-week quaffers go, I think most people would be pretty happy with this.