2018 Brash Higgins Omensetter

Highly Rated
The flagship estate-grown red from this truly one-of-a-kind McLaren Vale producer.

Sale price$120.00
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The story of Brad Hickey (AKA Brash Higgins) and his love affair with the Australian wine scene may have panned out very differently had he and his partner Nicole not stumbled across the Omensetter Vineyard in 2007.

This vineyard is now the base of operations for this adventurous wine label, and unsurprisingly the source for their flagship wine. The wine produced from Omensetter in 2018 is a blend of 85% Shiraz and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. It lazed away in French oak for three years prior to bottling and a further two years sleeping in its (seriously heavy-duty) bottle prior to general release.

This is a tip of the cap to Chris Ringland's influence on Brad, and if you know Ringland's wines, you know where this is going. This is a powerhouse wine.

A blockbuster with a showstopping presence built for cellaring and special occasions.

"A bold and pure red with intense blackberry, blueberry and plum aromas as well as dark chocolate and deep-set spices."
- 95 pts, Ned Goodwin MW (JamesSuckling.com)

Brash Higgins’ 2018 Omensetter is 100% made from fruit grown at the Organic BH Omensetter estate vineyard. The site owes its name to the eponymous hero of the William H. Gass novel “Omensetter’s Luck”. Ever since Brash Higgins’ founder Brad Hickey first laid eyes on the site in 2007, he has dreamed of capturing its promise of goodness in a select blend of grapes. The vineyard was planted in 1997 by Brad’s partner, Nicole Thorpe, and as of 2017 is fully certified organic by ACO.

85% Shiraz and 15% Cabernet, 2018 Omensetter was aged over two years in two new 500L French Ermitage puncheons, before being allowed to mellow in bottle. The tradition of extended barrel ageing represents a stylistic tangent from the progressive wines for which Brash Higgins has become renowned, but imposed itself as the only approach for this grand, time-honoured Australian style of wine.

Brad Hickey remarks, “We are not the first to do extended barrel and bottle ageing—on the contrary—but it’s a first for Brash Higgins, and that is why we’re so excited now that it’s ready to drink.” To complement the traditional technique, Brad chose a chunky 1859 Burgundy bottle with art deco design as the perfect home for Omensetter.

On the tasting bench, the distinctive blood orange and dark fruited flavour profile of the shiraz together with the minty, black tea and concentrated cassis notes of the cabernet sauvignon make perfect sense and taste sensational. ‘Think wicked notes of aged beef, charcoal embers, cloves, dark blackberries, orange peel and a brooding intensity, yet still youthful and energetic—the kind of wine that challenges the grey matter between my ears. Drink now or cellar for 5 to 10 years,” says Brad.

A modern addition to a proud tradition, 2018 Omensetter will leave a legacy all of its own. The Brash Higgins team has plans to create new interpretation for 2021. There’s not a lot of wine here to last very long.
3.74 pH, 6.9g/L TA, 14.5% ALC; DIAM 20 Cork Closure.

95 points - "A bold and pure red with intense blackberry, blueberry and plum aromas as well as dark chocolate and deep-set spices. The palate builds seamlessly with complex textural weave and good length. Tidy finish. A blend of 85% shiraz and 15% cabernet sauvignon. From organically grown grapes. Drink over the next decade." - Ned Goodwin MW (JamesSuckling.com)

Brash Higgins

Brash Higgins is the label of winemaking American-turned-honorary-Aussie, Brad Hickey.

In his former life, Hickey was one of America's top sommeliers, working for many years crafting some of New York's finest wine lists. He 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.

Hickey's wines are extremely expressive. They fall in two camps - the wines sourced from Omensetter vineyard and those sourced from friends around the Vale and the warm, dry Riverlands.

Brad Hickey AKA Brash Higgins - McLaren Vale, SA Brash Higgins

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