I’m in Melbourne for Christmas and popped into Acland Cellars for a scout around their interesting range of imported spirits. (We’d had dinner at Blue Corn Mexican around the corner first, highly recommended!). They had a reasonable collection of uncommon gins, 47 Pink, both Martin Millers, Bulldog, as well as the usuals. I’ve had my eye on the G’Vine for a while so I decided to splash out and put down $90 on an untried gin. Spolier alert: not disappointed.
G’Vine is a French grape based gin. The neutral base is made from grape spirit. This makes for a very smooth base to the botanicals. The grapes are Ugni Blanc from the Cognac region, well regarded for their high acid and neutral flavour, a perfect blank canvas spirit.
The first note on the nose is floral and herbaceous with a hint of citrus. On the palate the first thing I thought was cinnamon. Then cardamom and myrtle. It doesn’t actually have any cinnamon in it, but the warmth and spice from cardamom, ginger and nutmeg and the earthy cassia fooled my tongue. The myrtle I think is from the the slightly eucalyptus note in the cardamom along with lime. The unique botanical in the G’Vine Floraison is vine flowers. They are the delicate flowers that bloom on the grape vines just before they turn into fruit and give this gin the most delightful floral note that hits right in the middle of the tongue after the earthy spice dissipates from the front. The base spirit really is so smooth that it just leaves a gentle warming glow at the back of the throat. You’ll notice I haven’t said anything about juniper, it’s almost undetectable. Similar to the way cassia or angelica root are often used as a binding earthy note rather than a distinct flavour.
As we’re away from home and staying in a hotel we had not much option but throwing in some ice and Schweppes tonic. It’s surprisingly delicious even in the most basic of gin and tonics. The cardamom really sings and the floral sweetness along with the bubbles give it an almost buttery mouth-feel. A perfect summer gin and tonic.
G’Vine also make a Nouaison style with the slightly older vine flowers that have hit small berry stage. Looking for to finding and tasting that one soon.
Don’t just take my word for it, there are lots of very experienced people writing about gin on the internet so I’m going to start sharing links to reviews from other bloggers and websites on my tasting notes.
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