There is literally nothing like this anywhere on the market at the moment. The ‘R/SM’ is Brash Higgins' single vineyard “field blend” of two of our favourite (and we think most underrated) white varieties in the country, Riesling and Semillon. The two varieties are dry grown side by side on a tiny vineyard in the foothills of McLaren Vale. From the vineyard both varieties are picked on the same day (65% Riesling, 35% Semillon), basket pressed and co-fermented in old French barriques. Such harmony between opposing varieties just warms the cockles of the heart. Look, it’s pretty out there there’s no denying that, but it’s also super interesting and ridiculously delicious to drink. With only 55 cases produced in total this year and a brilliant write up from Mike Bennie at Wine Front (93 points), this wine is yet another feather in Brash’s increasingly feathered cap. Textured, aromatic and thought provoking, we are huge fans of this wine. If only there was more available. Oh well, best get yourself a bottle or two while you can and see what all the fuss is about! Enjoy!
What it Tastes Like
It’s a bit of a journey with this wine. We begin with citrus, tropical fruit and hints of briny goodness on the nose. It’s at once very like both varieties and totally new - more than the sum of its parts kind of deal. The time in old wood lends a gravitas and slight nuttiness to the nose, and has helped the union of the two varieties. Very interesting. The palate has the minerality and tautness that you might expect given the blend but it gives way to a generous breadth in the back of the mouth. Citrussy and salty with a chewiness which is so inviting. This is good stuff!
93 points. "Third vintage of the special riesling, semillon blend. Dry-grown vineyard, all picked at the same time. One acre, planted in mid-1970s. Touch of raisining in the riesling too, resulting in a touch of residual sugar in the wine. De-stemmed, crushed, pressed, all the juice goes into a bin for a night, then the next day the wine goes into old French wood. Wild ferment in barrel, stays in there for a few months. Into bottle unfiltered. Onwards! 55 cases made. A touch hazy in the glass, but that’s fine. It’s very aromatic, shows more of the hallmark lychee character that 2012 and 2013 seem to have eked out, but with more floral notes and a whiff of sea spray. Really good sniffs. Texture is a little rich, a touch slippery, finishes blocky but brisk and with a long tail of lemony tang. There’s a faint nuttiness in flavour, definitely some briny licks and the sweetness is barely there. Fruit-driven, delicious. Great drinking here." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Winemaking: A 'field blend' is an ensemble of different grapes from one vineyard block that are picked on the same day and fermented together, thus making a unique wine of place or a 'vin de terroir'. Our version is from an elevated site along the Kangarilla foothills of McLaren Vale where one acre of Riesling (65%) and Semillon (35%), unusual bedmates, grow cheek by jowl. Picked on the same day, basket-pressed together then co-fermented wild in two trusty barriques, only 660 bottles of this fresh white wine were made from the stellar 2014 vintage. Tasting Note:'Star bright in colour with a clear straw/green tinge. The nose is like a sea breeze, thanks to the ancient 40 million year old sandy soils, with hints of lime blossom, pineapple, and oyster liquor. A refreshing rush of minerality keeps things taut on the palate; textured layers of salinity and citrus intermingle followed by a laser beam of tangy, margarita pucker. This field blend has all the emerald exuberance of Riesling cut with the lemony flesh of Semillon. A light filtration was implemented to retain flavour/texture; ergo, a harmless sediment may exist.' – Brad Hickey Alcohol: 12.6%.
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Brash Higgins is the label of winemaking ‘yank’ Brad Hickey. With a background as one of America’s top sommeliers, Hickey came to Australia and fell in love with McLaren Vale and local vigneron Nicole Thorpe, with whom he now produces highly characterful, minimalist wines from their much-loved Omensetter vineyard. Wildly original and top quality stuff!
The South Australian region of McLaren Vale is famous for its powerful red wines. Shiraz and Grenache have thrived for years in the Vale’s sandy soils. Nowadays, the region’s varietal diversity has majorly increased, the coastal location and warm climate proving perfect for a new wave of varieties from Italy, Spain and Portugal. The success of varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, and Fiano has transformed McLaren Vale into one of the country’s most vibrant wine scenes. It’s where tradition meets innovation and it is producing some of the Australia’s finest wines.
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