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 is what.
We'd be crazy not to utilize the incredible calibre of cool climate fruit available to us in the Yarra Valley. 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 2018 we're now onto our third 'official' vintage release after that bootleg version...
The beauty of Bloody Shiraz Gin being a product of vintage means that it will never be the same. The 2018 vintage in the Yarra Valley was quite challenging until the end of December (hot, wet and humid), and then from January it was amazing. Really stable conditions with minimal rain and no extreme heat waves meant we got a fantastic ripening period.
We picked some Shiraz early to get those bright raspberry flavours, and some late for more plum and dark cherry. That means we’ve ended up with the best of both worlds in this year’s Bloody Shiraz Gin.
And the most remarkable feature of the 2018 gin is its truly incredible colour. It's considerably brighter than last year, a glowing deep cerise with the most gorgeous vibrant pink hue.
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 in a fabulously colourful G&T!
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 2018 vintage will be released at 10.30am on Friday 1 June... get amongst it!