The team at Four Pillars has combined Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes with their signature Rare Dry Gin to create the new vintage of their cult favourite Bloody Shiraz Gin.
Australia’s only yearly release spirit, edition 2019 will finally be back on shelves around Australia from June 1, 2019.
According to Distiller Cam Mackenzie, 2019 was a terrific season for Victorian cool climate Shiraz, which has given the team another belter of a Bloody Shiraz Gin vintage.
“The season was set up nicely courtesy of good spring rain, then January and February saw some very dry conditions with the odd bloody hot day that combined to bring vintage forward by 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.”
The history of this much-loved gin dates back to World Gin Day in 2015 when after ‘appropriating’ 250kg of Shiraz from landlord at the time, Rob Dolan, Cam and the team steeped the whole berries with high-proof Rare Dry Gin for eight weeks before releasing it in an unlabelled bottle. The release sold out in a matter of days.
So, in 2016 the Bloody Shiraz Gin got its own proper label and a proper name, and in 2017 it was sent out into world, with a small amount exported to key markets in Asia, the US and Europe.
Some favourite ways to drink Bloody Shiraz Gin
According to the Four Pillars team, you can’t go wrong with a Lemon & Bloody – add 45ml Bloody Shiraz Gin and 100ml bitter lemon tonic in a rocks glass over ice, then garnish with ruby grapefruit.
Slightly more complicated: try a Bloody Spritz – add 30ml Bloody Shiraz Gin and 30ml fresh ruby grapefruit juice to a Champagne flute, then top with sparkling wine.
If you’re feeling adventurous, mix a Who Shot Tom Collins? Mix 30ml Rare Dry Gin and 100ml fresh lemonade in a highball over ice, squeeze in two wedges of lemon then float 15ml Bloody Shiraz Gin on top.
There are also a whole range of cocktail ideas on the Four Pillars website www.fourpillarsgin.com.au
Selected bottle shops Australia-wide will be hosting their own Bloody Shiraz Blitz Tasting throughout the day on Saturday, June 1, where punters can taste the all-new 2019 vintage release and meet someone from the Four Pillars family at the same time. Store details are on the Four Pillars website.
2019 Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin 700mL is RRP $85 and available at all good retailers and bars Australia-wide.