Brash Higgins 2015 ‘ZBO’ Zibibbo-Amphora
Zibibbo is an ancient, aromatic white grape from the Muscat family grown in the warmth of the Mediterranean and South Australia. Our third ZBO was from fruit grown at Ricca Terra Farms in the sunny Riverland. 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 five waiting 200L amphorae. A wild ferment ensued, and as the grapes break down, the capsÂ were hand plunged twice daily until the skins sank 19 days later. The skins, seeds and juice remained covered in situ for five months where a natural FLOR volunteers itself to cover and protect the wine. The ‘free run’ was siphoned off in spring and combined with the pressings to settle for a few months before bottling.
‘Cloudy, pale yellow in appearance. The wine is dry yet exudes tantalising herbal, spice and stone fruit aromas. Not as overt as the 2014 effort, the 2015 is more subdued than ever. Complex nose of graphite/pencil shavings, cut ginger, cloves, cinnamon, white pepper, sweet Texas tea, white flowers, and wild honey. On the palate, a soft entry with phenolic grip and an earthy sweet chalk/clay element with notes of lemon oil, walnuts, tangerines and cinnamon apples. Good length flows on in the afterbreath.’ – Brad Hickey, Vinitor, October 2, 2015.
Review fromThe Wine Front: “Sourced from Ricca Terra Farm in Riverland. I reckon the wine has found a good groove again in 2015, or winemaker Brad Hickey has fine tuned things. Feels fresher, crisper, less textural, but more drinkability is the by-product. Zibibbo grapes spend five-or-so months in amphora.
Spicy perfume, highly aromatic, highly evocative, pot pourri, banana, clove, ripe citrus and incense scents. In palate, slippery, lemon oily, rich but also pretty fruitiness, clean acidity freshening things and then finishes pleasingly herbal. Curious wine. Compelling in its own way. The grape variety is prominent. Easy to like. Easy to drink.”Mike Bennie-Rated : 93 Points.
Harvest date: March 19, 2015 Hand selected
Vineyard: Ricca Terra Farms, Barmera, Riverland
Grower: Ashley Ratcliff
Soil Type: Red loam over limestone
Irrigation: Dry Grown
Altitude: 32 metres above sea level
Fermenter type: clay amphorae
Time on skins: 150 days in amphorae
Time in oak: 2 months
Oak origin: French
Oak age: 100% 6 year
Bottling date: October 2, 2015
Closure: Stelvin +
pH 3.7, TA 5.3 g/l, alc 13.0%
Price: $37 per bottle, $222 per 6 bottle case