In the beginning, there was just G’Vine. This upscale gin hails from France and is distilled from grapes, making it unique in the gin world, and its mild citrus-forward flavor made it a hit with Drinkhacker in the early days of the site — where it was one of the first spirits we reviewed back in 2007.
Now G’Vine is expanding its portfolio with Nouaison, another gin with a different character to call its own.
We got samples of both the original “Floraison” (green bottle) and “Nouaison” (grey bottle) to do a fresh little review of something old and something new.
G’Vine Floraison Gin (2010), as our original review notes, is a milder style gin, with juniper as a secondary player. Lemon and orange are neck and neck here, with a muted juniper backbone that gives it more of a floral character (hence the name, perhaps), than an evergreen one. Still a winner and an easy pick for any cocktail, simple or complicated. This is a rare gin that is actually refreshing, not off-putting. 80 proof. A-
G’Vine Nouaison Gin has a more traditional aroma, and juniper is clearly more present in the blend here. The body is harsher, and the alcohol level is higher, and it’s an obvious response to those who might have found Floraison too muted for their tastes. I’d say Nouaison overdoes it a bit in an attempt to dig toward London Dry style. Although there are some really intriguing characteristics here — an almost cocoa-like silkiness and a touch of leathery tannin on the finish, not to mention the intensity of the juniper and other spices — I find myself drifting back to Floraison as the night goes on. 87.8 proof. B+