Strange Nature Premium Grape Gin (700ml)
  • 94

Strange Nature Premium Grape Gin (700ml)

Marlborough, NEW ZEALAND
$84. 99
$1019.88 Dozen
ABV: 44%

A gin not made, but grown - from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and arguably the most exciting new gin to come out of New Zealand in some time. It all started when the Giesen brothers of Marlborough’s Giesen Wines were trying to strip the alcohol from sauvignon blanc to produce an alcohol-free product. The resulting liquid “was essentially a sauvignon blanc spirit”, says Rhys Julian, the general manager of Strange Nature. He adds, “At that point the wine-makers were discarding it, but we thought there was a really good opportunity to take that by-product and do something with it, because it retains heaps of those really tasty flavours from Marlborough sauvignon blanc." The team added juniper but then cycled through more than a dozen different botanicals trying to find the best combination. They ended up going back to basics, deciding that juniper and sauvignon blanc stand on their own merit. “Sauvignon blanc is really aromatic, it’s got those layers of grapefruit and tropical herbaceous qualities,” says Julian, “and so we settled on just one botanical, juniper, which is quite unusual and quite strange, hence our name, Strange Nature.”

Just as you'd expect, Strange Nature retains many of the quintessential notes of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - as the producers describe it: Partly tropical and zesty with hints of fresh pineapple, candied grapefruit and a touch of kaffir lime and blood orange; and part savoury and herbaceous with piney juniper, blackcurrant leaf and fresh green pepper. Our tasting from a 30ml sample found powerful aromas of ripe feijoa, also hinting at passionfruit and nectarine with a light pepper overlay. There's a citrus/tropical fruit interplay on the palate too, evoking grapefruit, lime zest, feijoa, crushed pine buds and hints of papaya seed through the fresh, warming finish. It's a full bodied, vibrant and distinctive gin that when tasted neat, maintains a good balance of juniper against the fruitiness of the grape distillate. Mixing with soda is simple yet effective, although too much dilution tends to over-emphasise the varietal character of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Try loading up a highball glass with ice and a spritz of carbonated water garnished with a lime wedge. For a refreshing alternative, use East Imperial Grapefruit soda. Lovers of G&Ts should enjoy a generous pour over ice, topped off with a premium tonic, a lime wedge and a sprig of rosemary or thyme. 44% Alc./Vol.