I have a confession to make. My current fixation is for red wines that have a bit of space and charm.
Invariably, they tend to be lower in alcohol (this one weighs in at 12.5 per cent), are versatile at the dinner table and beneath their core of ripe fruit, there is a rustic, sappy complexity that keeps drawing me back for another sip.
This particular vinous triptych from ex-NYC sommelier, now McLaren Vale local, Brad Hickey, appeals to me. Firstly, the grapes are three varieties that, unlike some more famous varieties, are perfectly matched to our climate here in South Australia: Mataro, Cinsault and Carignan. Secondly, they seem to get on effortlessly together in the glass. I mean, they’ve been best buddies in the wines of France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region for centuries so their bond cannot be questioned.
It’s the first release from a recent ‘field blend’ planting in McLaren Vale. We’ve chatted about field blends before. Those vineyards where all the varieties are inter-planted and harvested together with the aim that the resulting wine will have a gestalt lean where the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
This is a wonderfully heady wine that is light in colour with aromas of wild cherry, spiced plums, cranberry, Asian spice, white pepper, frangipani and rosehip. These characters transpose to the palate along with watermelon, amaro herbs and marzipan. Brisk and airy with a light chalky tannin cascade, it’s just lovely.
BRASH HIGGINS 2017 MCC Mataro Cinsault Carignan