2013 McLaren-Vale Shiraz | Wine Notes 538calclub.com

Brash Higgins ‘Omensetter Vineyard’

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Brash Higgins founder Brad Hickey wasn’t as angry man when I worked with him in New York City a decade ago. The ‘round the clock’, ‘pressure cooker’, ‘ego fueled’, high-end dining scene was extremely tough. I got out eventually myself. Before I made that decision, Mr. Hickey was smart and bold enough to hit the road and find out if life had more to offer. I would say it does. 

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. The odyssey has become a special kind of love story. This tough as nails city denizen turned out to be a generous softie.

Made from 17 year old shiraz vines grown at the Omensetter Vineyard. Vinted from hand selected fruit, 20% of the grapes were whole bunch, the rest de-stemmed and sent to open fermenters for 4 weeks then basket pressed and matured for 15 months in fine 1-4 year old French hogsheads and aged just over a year in bottle. 2014 in the Vale is considered a long vintage; balanced wines with power and spice. This the first vintage the SHZ was made entirely at the BH winery.

‘Blood plum in hue, the nose of the Brash 14 SHZ has black plums, chorizo, blood orange zest, spicy paprika, nutmeg and licorice, and a sweet earthy note that is typical of Omensetter Vineyard’s red clay. The palate is generous, well-balanced and smooth, the firm tannins integrated, and the finish long with complex, interweaving berry and spice notes. 295 cases made.

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