Brash Higgins 2017 ‘ZBO’ Zibibbo-Amphora
Zibibbo is an ancient, aromatic white grape from the Muscat family grown in the warmth of the Mediterranean and South Australia. From fruit grown at Ricca Terra Farms in the sunny Riverland, the varietal was 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 waiting terracotta amphorae. A wild ferment ensued with the caps hand plunged twice daily until the ferment finished and the skins sank into the wine. The skins, seeds and juice remained covered in situ for six months. A natural FLOR layer of yeast volunteers itself and covers and helps protect the wine. The ‘free run’ was siphoned off in spring and combined with the pressings. The wine settles before being racked and sent to bottle unfiltered and unfined.
‘Cloudy and a diaphanous, pale gold in appearance. The wine is dry yet exudes tantalising herbal, spice and stone fruit aromas. Complex nose of apricot, graphite/pencil shavings, cut ginger, cloves, ginseng, white pepper, Belgian white ale, and wild honey leaps from the glass. On the palate, the wine has a soft entry but with good grip, an earthy sweet chalk/clay element with notes of lemon oil, tangerines, tea and cinnamon apples.’ – Brad Hickey, Vinitor, January 2, 2018.
Harvest date: March 20, 2017
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
Bottling date: December 22, 2017
Closure: Stelvin +
pH 3.58, TA 5.9 g/l, alc 13%
Wine Advocate – “Probably BH’s best-known wine, the 2017 Ricca Terra Farms ZBO spends six months on skins in amphora. Yes, it’s a bit dark in color and slightly cloudy, as if to show off its trendiness, but it’s also tasty stuff. Zibibbo, a form of Muscat, seems to thrive on this sort of treatment, giving a wine with floral, Muscat aromas, plus notes of orange and pineapple. It’s medium to full-bodied and silky in texture, showing some skin tannins and finishing long, briny and zesty.” (91 Pts)