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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Brash Higgins 'ZBO' Zibibbo 2013

One day, ZBO may well stand for Zombie Box Office - in my mind a cable channel dedicated to the zombie genre...welcome to my world.

For now, it's a contraction of Zibibbo, the name used for the grape variety Muscat of Alexandria in Sicily, the name that Brad Hickey has opted to use for the second of his amphorae fermented wines, a technique that is also used in Sicily - as it is elsewhere. Sicily, an island that - as you may guess - influences Hickey greatly.

Fruit is drawn from 70 year old bush vines, the resultant wine spends 150 days on skins in amphorae before being pressed off in to two 'old' French barriques. A mere 55 cases produced.

The wine itself needs to be tasted to be believed. It's fresh, fragrant - and these two adjectives only begin to convey the pronounced aromatics on display, aromatics of apricot nectar, lemon balm imbued with a little spice. It's a big aroma, certainly not subtle, yet not over-bearing.

The choice of grape and the fermentation vessel is no chasing a fashion. The choice of Zibibbo was such for its: "potential to develop length and complexity from longer skin contact", the amphorae is noted for its ability to enhance texture. Here we have a wine with a slippery quality, a textural raciness, the wine gliding around the palate. It finishes with a little gingery pinch, but your lasting memory is of texture, of the wine careering around the mouth, of silken movement across the tongue. Damn interesting, a good wine to boot. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 28th January, Leaf transitioning to Fruit day 
Source: Private purchase
Price: $37
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap

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