The Grenache and Mataro used for this wine come from Yangarra's vineyards in Blewitt Springs. Brad uses a 3:1 ratio of Grenache to Mataro, and co-ferments the two.
The Mataro is kept as whole bunches and placed into the bottom of the fermenters, then covered by the destemmed berries of the Grenache. After 20 days on skins, the wine is pressed to seasoned French oak puncheons and matured for 10 months.
It's a pretty wine, with floral notes, orange zest, and spicy notes from the Mataro. The whole bunch portion of the fermentation gives the wine a herbal, savoury edge to it, balancing the lifted red fruits and natural perfume of the Grenache. A lovely, medium-bodied red.
Two parcels of Grenache and Mataro from a Biodynamically farmed site in the distinctive sandy soils of Blewitt Springs were hand-picked on the same day and co-fermented using wild yeast in an open fermenter for 2 weeks. The 17 vintage was cool and wet in December, thus this is our lightest, prettiest effort yet. Ten months in trusty French puncheons further forged the fine red berry tones of Grenache (70%) with the savoury spice of Mataro (30%). This is the first time we used whole bunches in the Mataro, and the wine shows wonderful grip and an herbal edge because of it.
Pretty nose, floral and sweet fruited, pinot like. Notes of feijoa, orange peel and spice from the Mataro co-mingles nicely with the lively, bright red fruited Grenache. Medium bodied, easily accessible with dusty tannins, the GR/M strikes a nice counterbalance between the openly fruity nature of Grenache and the darker, more brooding nature of Mataro. Transparent, this is our prettiest GR/M yet.
Brash Higgins is the wine label - or nom de vin, if you will - of McLaren Vale based vigneron, Brad Hickey.
Brad started as a sommelier in New York, working for Michelin starred restaurants, and as a wine list consultant. But his vinous journey drew him away from the bright lights and dazzling displays of the big city, and ultimately to South Australia, where his desire to unravel the enigmas of the vine saw him working a vintage with Chris Ringland.
Brad fell in love with Australia (and a local vigneron, Nicole Thorpe) and his move was settled.
The wines of Brash Higgins are thought-provoking and intriguing. They draw you in through a combination of interesting varieties, unique production methods, and good ol' fashioned flavour. In 2009, Brad established the Amphora Project, a series of wines that are vinified in large clay amphorae, left on skins for various periods, and bottled without filtration. He started with Nero d'Avola, a wine that he had seen made in this way to great effect in Sicily. But the range has subsequently grown to include Zibibbo and Merlot.
Ultimately, the wines of Brash Higgins are beautifully crafted, interesting, fruit-forward styles that challenge the status quo, but without challenging the drinker. There is a consistent thread of long ferments and extended macerations through the Brash Higgins wines, whilst if oak is used, it is generally old. The focus is on the quality of the fruit and expressing the vintage and terroir without interfering in that process. Perhaps it's Brad's 'brash' approach that has given him the licence to play so much in the winery. But whatever it is, we're loving what he's doing.
What a beautiful red with lemons, grated orange zest, rose petals, raspberries and sour cherries. Medium-bodied and energetic on the palate with lively, red and blue fruit and a serious tannin backbone