2016 Zibbibo 'ZBO'Brash Higgins
aka Brad Hickey who grow up in Chicago before making the move to NYC as an aspiring food writer in NYC, Brad hit on a perfect format to express himself and pay the rent – composing restaurant wine lists. After 10 solid years he was the first US sommelier to work under French culinary genius Daniel Boulud, at Cafe Boulud, and then to the role of wine director for four years at world renowned chef David Bouley’s duo of two Michelin-starred restaurants, Bouley and Danube. Inevitably, Brad broke with the hustle and bustle of the New York fine dining scene and hit the road to understand, from the ground up, the enigma behind the bottles which reach the table.
This quest brought Brad to South Australia in 2007 to work vintage at the invitation of winemaker Chris Ringland. Here, a new chapter began with the conception of the alias ‘Brash Higgins’; a nickname swiftly bestowed by Aussie friends on the bright-eyed and brash New Yorker. Brad stayed off the radar just long enough to prune after vintage, fall in love with McLaren Vale, and, ultimately, with local vigneron, Nicole Thorpe. Together they own and care for Omensetter Vineyard.
Zibibbo is an ancient, aromatic white grape from the Muscat family grown in the warmth of the Mediterranean and South Australia. Our second 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. A wild ferment ensued, and as the grapes broke down, the caps were literally hand plunged twice daily until the skins sank 19 days later. The skins, seeds and juice remained covered in situ for five months.
Cloudy, pale yellow in appearance. The wine is dry yet exudes a panoply of tantalising herbal, spice and stone fruit aromas. An earthy sweet chalk/clay element with notes of lemon oil, honeyed melons, tangerines and cinnamon apples. Good length.
McLaren Vale, South Australia