Four Pillars distillery will launch the second vintage of its Bloody Shiraz Gin on World Gin Day, 11 June.
Bloody Shiraz Gin was originally created in 2015 at a Yarra Valley winery run by Rob Dolan. When Dolan received 250 kilograms of Shiraz in late April, Four Pillars distiller, Cameron Mackenzie, decided to see what might happen if the grapes were steeped in high-proof gin.
The whole berries were left in contact with Rare Dry Gin for eight weeks and plunged each day, with the spice and pepper of the Shiraz combining with the citrus and juniper notes of the gin. The juice was pressed after two months, bottled and the ABV adjusted to 37.8 percent.
The name comes from the idea of bleeding the colour from the skins as when making a light red wine.
The first vintage was bottled just in time for World Gin Day 2015, where it was Four Pillars’ best-selling gin on the day. In the following weeks the 600-odd bottles made sold out.
In response to demand, Four Pillars decided to actively source two tonnes of Shiraz. After stirring and plunging the whole grapes every day, the fuit was pressed from the gin and bottled in the first week of May. The result is a gin with fresher fruit character and a little more spice than its predecessor.
Bloody Shiraz Gin is deep purple in colour, turning pink when mixed with tonic or soda. Aromatically it has fresh pine needs, citrus and spice, and a clear peppery, dense raspberry character. The palate is sweet, with a long juniper and spice character on the finish.
At 37.8 percent ABV, the alcohol is higher than sloe gin, which is also made with berries, making it suitable for cocktail making. Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin is best consumed within two years of vintage. As it is an unfiltered gin secondary fruit characters will develop beyond two years.