One day our distiller Cam thought, what would happen if you combined Four Pillars Gin with some of the best Shiraz grapes in Australia? Bloody Shiraz Gin, that's what!
We'd be crazy not to use the incredible calibre of cool climate fruit available to us in the Yarra Valley and surrounds. So around Easter time in 2015, we steeped our first Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes in high proof Rare Dry Gin for eight weeks.
The fruit was de-stemmed but kept mainly as whole berries, and the tanks were kept cold and stirred daily. After eight weeks we pressed the fruit before blending with more Rare Dry Gin.
The resulting gin was a little bit of a success, so in 2019 we're now onto our fifth 'official' vintage release since that original bootleg version. Subscribe to our emails to get the first notification when it becomes available at the end of May.
The beauty of Bloody Shiraz Gin being a product of vintage means that it will never be the same. The 2019 vintage in the Yarra Valley was terrific for cool climate Shiraz in particular.
The season was set up with good spring rain, and January and February saw very dry conditions with the odd super bloody hot day. This combination brought vintage forward a week.
While the majority of our grapes were again sourced from the same three vineyards in our home in the Yarra Valley, this is the first year we also took some grapes from other cool Southern Victorian regions. We sourced a small percentage from the Yea Valley just over the Black Spur to our north and also a parcel from Southern Bendigo to our west, which is cooler still than the Yarra itself.
The fruit quality was sensational across the board (thanks growers). We followed the same principles as 2018, harvesting some Shiraz early, looking for spice and red berry characters, and a second parcel later in the season to build colour, sweetness and darker fruit flavours.
The resulting colour remains a deep, rich, reddish purple. And the aromas and flavours? Well, straight up there are pine forest juniper notes followed by white pepper, dark berries and spices.
The palate is beautifully balanced with both sweetness and gin in spades, and some nice tannins on the finish. Thirsty now? We bloody hope so…
Aromatically it shows fresh pine needles, citrus and spice, and distinct peppery, dense raspberry notes. The palate is lovely and sweet with a long juniper and spice character on the finish.
Unlike Sloe Gin (which is less than 30% ABV), the alcohol is 37.8%. So it packs a punch and is ideal in a range of cocktails, like a Bloody Jasmine. We also love it straight on the rocks in all its pure purple glory, garnished with a slice of orange. Or this luscious Bloody Sour...
Our Bloody Shiraz Gin is best consumed within two years of vintage. The gin is unfiltered and may start to develop dried fruit characters beyond two years.
The 2019 vintage will be released at 10:30am on Saturday 1 June, so make sure you subscribe to get access to it first!