2016 MRLO: not your average Merlot

Couple of strong write ups for the Brash Higgins 2016 ‘MRLO’ Merlot, a wine we take very seriously and love for its quirky personality. Raised in Amphora, the wine delights and surprises.

Mike Bennie at The Wine Front says:
“This is a merlot with a lot of charisma, and quite a unique flavour profile, done right…All seductive charm here. Bolshy bouquet of plums, mocha powder, soy sauce, pepper, dried rosemary. Nice start. Washy in the palate, good concentration though softness and easy appeal is inherent. Touch of soy sauce, iodine and slightly dried out through the finish, but overall a nice experience from that. It’s quite structured, tinged with amaro-like herb ‘n’ spice (and fennel), red fruited in flavour and chock full of personality. Tick tick tick. 93 pts.” Full review

Andrew Graham at Australian Wine Review says:
This is the best Australian Merlot I’ve had in some time.
Importantly, this doesn’t taste anything like your average Aussie Merlot. Instead, it reads from a song sheet that is more like the Nero d’Avola that makes up 10% of the blend. A serenade of black fruited energy that is, well, deliciously different.
If there is one thing that I do wonder about this wine it remains the influence of the amphorae it was fermented and matured in. That energy, that lively juiciness – could it be only enhanced by the quasi-mystical clay pots? Or am I just drinking the Kool-Aid? Whatever it is, this is tasty wine.
Sourced from Mclaren Vale’s Lennon Vineyard planted in 1994, this is fermented in both amphora and open, one-tonne fermenters, then spending 9 months in clay.
A dark purple coloured wine, this has lots of dark, luscious, blackberry fruit. I’d almost pick it as having more Nero than a token splash as it’s just drenched in ripe, licoricey rich fruit, tending towards fruit cake, but not overripe. Just perfect. Beyond all this fruit lies a palate of fine, light tannins, and acidity that Brad Hickey calls ‘glossy’.
Energetic, plump and very drinkable, it’s strictly speaking a wine of fruit and some critics may score it down as a result. But as a showcase of how joyful ripe grapes can be when squished and turned into wine, it’s perfect. Best drinking: 2017-2027. 18.5/20, 94/100. 13.9%, $37. Would I buy it? I’d buy a bottle off a list for sure.” Review