Brash Higgins (AKA Brad Hickey) is at it again, dropping conventions and vowels all over the place.
He loves to make wines that challenge peoples perceptions, and if there is one white variety out there with a bad wrap, it might be Aussie Chenin Blanc.
This is not your run of the mill Chenin.
It is fermented in old oak after a few days on skins, then left to its own devices for 9 months before seeing a bottle.
Hickey is trying to wring every ounce of character out of this fruit, and he’s done a damn fine job. Mike Bennie closed his recount of the wine with this, “It’s refreshing, it’s wild, it’s curious. It’s fun, but it will be challenging for some, but that’s ok.”
Funked up and (as is standard issue for all the Brash wines) a little left of centre, this will charm the pants off a curious drinker.
What It Tastes Like
Masipam and honey, soft glossy palate with some nuts and a side of toast. Ginger and lemongrass, some apples in the mix. Decent length through the palate. Really interesting and chewy expression. Feels like lots of lees work/some skins. Nicely play, Brad.
89 points. “It is very hard for chenin blanc to escape its slightly sickly, baby spew and burned butter aroma profile, and sometimes flavours. Then again, you expect it, so you kind of work with it, and in great examples, where that vibe is kept to a minimum, magic happens. Can be one of the world’s best grapes at its zenith. Anyway, Brad Hickey has had a crack at it here, applied a couple of days of skin contact, fermented it wild in barrel, let it hang for nine months, then bottled it with a little sulphur.
Whiffs of ripe, verge of putrefaction, sweet exotic fruits. Walking through a jungle with tropical fruits hanging around. Smells aren’t off-putting, just assertive. Dried apples after the wine opens some. It’s really squeaky in texture, jostles around with crisp acidity, appley tang, a touch of sour balsamic lift. It’s refreshing, it’s wild, it’s curious. It’s fun, but it will be challenging for some, but that’s ok.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Closure: Screw Cap
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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