Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d'Avola
There’s a story behind this wine, our first foray into legit carbonic maceration. A fellow winemaker, Tom Colman, pulled me aside after a long consumer tasting in Sydney and said, “Brash, you should pick some whole bunch Cab Sav and flood it with Nero juice and let it ferment”. I was intrigued and it haunted me. Why was I the one to which he chose to speak these mysterious words?
Two years later in 2020 we gave it a go. This wine is made from freshly picked, destemmed Nero d’Avola grapes which were quickly pressed. The juice from the press was channeled into a half ton bin full of waiting whole cluster Cabernet Sauvignon. All the Nero juice covered the Cabernet grapes and their stems, submerging the clusters completely. The idea is that the sugar in the Cabernet berries, starved of oxygen, will ferment inside their little berry bodies and create a lighter, slightly confectionary flavour profile. My trusty pal, Q Wine from Queensland, who worked harvest with me in 2020, said it smelled like strawberry ripple ice cream, and we were off! And then there’s the great song “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead. And then there’s also the wine from the 70’s in the US called Ripple which was, well, meant for the youth of America, believe it or not. But perhaps it’s the idea of ripples themselves, waves of ideas forever radiating outwards…cause and effect into eternity… All the fruit for the ensuing wine was handpicked off our Omensetter Estate Vineyard. - Notes from Brash Higgins