It's always sweet relief when I get the nero d'Avola we make at Brash Higgins out of the clay pots and into a settling tank. Until this happens, everything is a little tense around HQ. This condition was heightened even more in 2013, since we had the wine stored in our carport. Nobody likes the guy with the clay pots in a busy winery.
But it was all good, the wine was taken off skins a couple weeks ago and is settling nicely now. We'll let gravity do its thing for a couple months or so then bottle her up. 2013 looks to be a very strong year all around. The growing season saw a lot of vineyards ripen earlier than expected and all at once, which caused a bit of pressure. Our vineyard "Omensetter" hung in there and produced another healthy crop of shiraz, cab and nero. Look forward to the results next year.
We've also been having some fun this winter hosting a number of Brash dinners around the country and getting to know our fans on a more intimate level.
It all kicked off with a brilliant "PIG" dinner in Brisbane with the help of my friend Peter Marchant of Le Petit Cochon and the delicious food from Dalton Hospitality at the unusual Ballymore rugby grounds location. It was the first unveiling of the 2008 "Omensetter", our first proprietary red, a blend of our vineyard's Shiraz and Cabernet. Aged 3 years in new French hogsheads and aged two years in bottle, it's quite the wine. The wine and food went down well, an amazing night. Pretty cool posters, too.
That event gave us the confidence to do another event. Next up was a "Xmas in July" at one of our local faves, Fino in Willunga. We packed the room, and with the help of Nicole and Shaz, everything looked great; the food, wine and presents flowed. Showed off a fortified project I'm working on with my mate, Steven Matthews, as well. We have two 40 year old barrels that one time housed Macallan scotch for 25 years and are full of the loveliest little Tawny now. It was a huge hit, and motivated me and Steven to find a couple of other older, character rich barrels to add to our Solera system. It felt great to pull off a Xmas meal like that and get to hang out with folks that dig what we are doing. Also nice to put bums on seats in a place where you love to eat.Brash used that same Tawny at "Game of Rhones" in Melbourne a few days later. The Game was a parody of the Game of Thrones TV series, but focused seriously on Rhone style wines from the 40 selected producers present on the day. A huge crowd of trade and punters got to taste some amazing juice. Miraculously, the Brash GR/M and Omensetter finished tied for 4th in the top 5 out of 100's of wines, read about it here. An amazing feat really. People also really dug the Tawny, too. We need to bottle some of that soon.