Brash Higgins ZBO Zibibbo Amphora 2020 - Riverland
Closure: Screw cap
Bottle size: 750ml
Zibibbo is an ancient, aromatic white grape from the Muscat family grown in the warmth of the Mediterranean and South Australia. From fruit grown at Ricca Terra Farms in the sunny Riverland, the varietal was chosen for its potential to develop length and complexity from longer skin contact, the wine is fruity yet bone dry; reminiscent of something from Alice in Wonderland, where things aren’t always as they seem.
Hand picked, the golf ball sized, bronze fruit was destemmed into waiting terracotta amphorae. A wild ferment ensued with the caps hand plunged twice daily until the ferment finished and the skins sank into the wine. The skins, seeds and juice remained covered in situ for six months. A natural FLOR layer of yeast volunteers itself and covers and helps protect the wine. The ‘free run’ was siphoned off in spring and combined with the pressings. The wine settles before being racked and sent to bottle unfiltered and unfined.
‘Cloudy and a diaphanous, pale copper in appearance. The wine is dry yet exudes tantalising herbal, spice and stone fruit aromas. Complex nose of apricot, graphite/pencil shavings, cut ginger, cloves, elderflower, white pepper, Belgian white ale, and wild honey leaps from the glass. On the palate, the wine has a soft entry but with good grip, an earthy sweet chalk/clay element with notes of lemon oil, tangerines, tea and cinnamon apples.’ – Brad Hickey, Vinitor, October 14, 2020.
Brad Hickey was an early re-adaptor of Riverland as a place to work with for natural wines of Australia, a bit visionary really considering all those that have followed and excelled. This of course comes off old bush vines at Ricca Terra Farms. It sees 150 days of skin maceration in amphora.
Big aromas, a fog of apricots, lemon myrtle, ginger, honeysuckle. Floral, yep, but a bit fruitier and more savoury than some other years. Chewy texture, bold flavours, quince and lemon curd and apricots and ginger. Good whip of tannin and acidity through this thing. Complex, a little bit of nice reserve despite all the flamboyance. Juicy and then crisp to finish. A triumph here. Really nailed it. Excellent orange wine.
In 2007, Brad Hickey met Nicole Thorpe. She had deep roots in McLaren Vale, where several generations of her family had worked to provide the local vineyards with much-needed water. He was a resolute wanderer, whose journey through food and drink had taken him from his home in Chicago, to Paris, to Portland, to New York City flourishing as head sommelier under 2 Star Michelin Chef David Bouley, and finally, to Australia, where he’d come to work his first vintage. After they met at the romantic Alma Hotel in McLaren Vale in 2007, Brad decided to stick around for awhile, was given the nickname "Brash" by the Aussie pruners that welcomed him to the land, and has been a fixture in the Australian wine scene ever since
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