It’s been a pretty shit week for me, with an innocuous scrape from a low speed bike fall (a stupid one where I just took my hands off the bars) turning into a full-blown leg infection.
That has meant a few days alternating between doctor surgery, couch and bed, with the constant frustration of feeling like things are improving and then floored and feverish. I’ve never had an infection like this before, and I can understand now why it is so destructive – you’re not only sore, but sick too. It’s shit. Even the hardcore antibiotics make you feel unwell.
No surprises that the doc has instituted a booze ban (with no end date) which is very confusing. What do I drink with dinner? How can you go out for a pre-dinner drink and just have water?
These two Brash Higgins reds I (luckily) opened on the weekend when things were ok and looked at them over a few days. The Nero, in particular, again shows how good Brash’s amphora wines look (and the potential of Nero in the Vale).
Brash Higgins NDV McLaren Vale Nero d’Avola 2015
180 days in amphora. Dark ruby red but with lighter edges, this smells alive, bursting with black and red jellybeans, and black and redcurrant. Aromatics? Tick. Lovely fragrance. Blueberries make an entry onto the berry palate, juicy fruit, real energy, and proper tannins. Maybe a little burn to finish? Love the jellybean fruit and sense of energy, without heaviness. Indeed it’s only mid weight. But utterly delicious in a vital and uncompromised way. Delicious and nudging higher if just a bit simple. Lovely wine. More! I preferred the ’14 just a little more, but this isn’t far behind (and should improve with time in bottle). Drink: 2016-2024. 18/20, 93/100. 14.3%, $43. Would I buy it? Yes I would.
Brash Higgins GR/M McLaren Vale Grenache Mataro 2015
A blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Mataro (look, Mataro! From outside the Barossa). Sourced from Blewitt Springs, with handpicked fruit a slow ferment and nine months in older oak. 190 cases produced.
Ruby red coloured, the red raspberry Grenache fruit is the standout here – bright red fruit aplenty. Chewy edge to the palate, raspberry syrup and a little bitumen. I find the finish a bit heavy, a counterpoint to the pretty red fruit with heat and firmness. Nice but the Nero is much more attractive (this just doesn’t have the same vitality) though it will live longer. Best drinking: 2016-2026. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.5%, $37. Would I buy it? I’d take the Nero instead.