Brash Higgins New Releases

Amongst the rapid change and re-invention that is the modern McLaren Vale, Brad Hickey and his label, Brash Higgins, have found their place. The easy-going American and his eclectic set of wines treads a careful but clever path between conventional and exploratory wine styling. In reality this means you’ll find traditional Vale varieties like Grenache or Riesling alongside the less well-known Zibibbo, or workhorse Rhones like Cinsualt given more billing than its usual “blend-buddy” status usually affords. Throw in fermentation techniques that vary from the “missionary” conventional through to the use of clay amphora and some some memorable labelling and you’ve got yourself a fascinating set of texturally interesting, delicious wines.

This offer showcases the latest set of very limited and stunning 2017 releases and once again it bares testament to Brad’s enthusiasm to go to great lengths to try different techniques and grape varietals in McLaren Vale.

The RSM (Riesling/Semillon) is evidence of this given the unlikely pairing; however this field blend reflects a sense of place – the vines grow just 20kms from the sea – and have the Riesling cut you would expect, but also a briney textural quality that reflects the site. The Nymph rose (available in tiny amounts) this year is a blend of Cinsault and Carignan and is rendered as a textural Provencal style. The CINS (Cinsault) is a soft medium red with pleasant ginger and pepper notes and the FRANC (Cabernet Franc) a silky medium red that has delicate violet and leafy characters. The Grenache /Mataro GRM is the boldest red of the three on show here and is medium bodied with dusty tannins. Entirely Biodynamic , the grapes were co-fermented and the wines has red berries and spice indicative of this unusual blend.
As always ZBO (Zibbibo) hit home for the sheer difference and joie de vivre it imparts. The crushed grapes are transferred into waiting terracotta amphorae. A wild ferment ensues with the caps hand plunged twice daily until the ferment finished and the skins sink into the wine. There, the wine develops under a flor for six months! This yields a very dry white with some cloudiness and floral notes on the nose, but a terrific weight and amazing match for cheese.

An enthralling line-up of wines that are great to savour and ponder.