Bass & Flinders, a distillery based on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, have released a new flavoured gin called Heartbreak Pinot Noir Gin.
According to Endeavour Group, in the last 12 months Australian-made craft and premium gin sales have grown by over 50 per cent across BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores.
“We are seeing a huge trend of customers wanting to support local, Australian-made drinks across all drinks categories, but it’s most noticeable in gin,” Endeavour Group glass spirits category manager Elise McNeil said.
“The trend among consumers is to choose a gin that is produced as locally as possible and with many Aussies spending more time than ever exploring their own backyard, they have been discovering Australian distilleries and gins at pace.”
It has also been found that 66 per cent of people aged 18-26 want more choice of interesting colours and flavours, while flavoured gin has a younger demographic with 55 per cent aged under 35.
Bass & Flinders, directed by head distiller Holly Klintworth, have responded to these trends in its new Heartbreak Pinot Noir Gin.
Focusing on traditional foundations, Bass & Flinders’ new gin is a food-focused spirit which aligns with a more expansive demographic. Specifically designed to be paired with dishes traditionally matched with pinot noir, this gin is best served with a hearty meal like roast lamb or duck a l’Orange.
“Heartbreak Gin has a little more elasticity than a traditional pinot – one of the perks of the spirit medium,” Klintworth said.
“Sweetness can be enhanced with mixers such as Mediterranean Tonic, intensity leveraged through just serving neat on ice, or acidity increased by serving it as a sour. All this said, the profile of this gin is founded on those of the providence of the pinot grape and pinot wine profile to ensure it truly is a food-first gin.”
Food has a clear effect on the perception of the accompanying beverages. Klintworth understands the finer nuances of which wines complement certain foods.
“The basics of pairings revolve around food-based characteristics like salt, acidity, sweetness and fat and from that we work out how intensity and spice can enhance those experiences,” Klintworth said.
“Unlike its thick skinned and resilient compatriots, such as cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, the delicate and desirable pinot is a fragile fruit, hence the colloquial ‘heartbreak’ nomenclature. In-fact, André Tchelistcheff, ‘the dean of American winemaking’ once quoted that ‘God made cabernet sauvignon, whereas the devil made pinot noir.’”
The first 1,000 bottles of the 2021 Heartbreak Pinot Noir Gin are dedicated to those who enjoy pinot noir, but don’t want to commit to opening a whole bottle. To spark a deeper connection with consumers, the brand has also integrated a QR code on the bottle that shares the production process and R&D.
Bass & Flinders distiller and production manager Dan Calvert believes pinot noir is the most honest of wines.
“Finesse and grace are its strengths, leaving zero tolerance for mistakes, allowing them to be laid bare for all to see,” Calvert said.
“Examining a glass of pinot is like examining the region, the terroir, the grower and the maker all at once. Only those that truly understand are able to be proactive, not reactive and consistently produce excellence. But even the best can be left pulling at their hair or shouting their joy one moment to the next while remaining blindly devoted. This is why pinot noir is known as the Heartbreak grape.”
Heartbreak Pinot Noir Gin, with an ABV of 38 per cent, is priced at $88 per 700ml bottle.