French Gin? Mai oui! Review of G'Vine Floraison Gin

Gin conservatism, gin orthodoxy, gin traditionalism: Call it what you will, but the fact remains that the old-school assumptions so many of us grew up making just no longer apply. Personally, I remember a time—a dark age, to be sure—when I refused to tip back a glass of the great clear spirit because, as I so unoriginally put it to my friends and family alike, “I prefer not to drink perfume.”

This, of course, from a college kid who was happy to drink anything and everything else.

Jump forward now more than 15 years, and the entire gin landscape has shifted. And while you can always find a great bottle of the classics (Beefeater, Plymouth, Boodles), there are also infinitely more versions to choose from. In the mood for a gin more rose-y and bright with the fresh burst of cucumbers? Hendrick’s is your tipple. Clean and supremely refreshing? Find some Martin Miller’s. Looking for a saffron-swirling example? Cadenhead’s Old Raj is tough to beat. And then there’s the entire world of genever gin, of old tom gin, of make-at-home gins, like the excellent “Homemade Gin Kit.”

So when a sample of G’Vine Floraison Gin crossed by desk, I was intrigued. It’s distilled from grapes, kissed with Ugni Blanc, and is distinctly floral from its use of vine flowers. Which, of course, all sounds well and good from a marketing standpoint, but how does it hold up in the glass?

Really, really well. Here are my notes:

Sweetly floral nose with hints of honey, orange oil, and a vague note of spice. On the palate, this is thick, impossibly smooth, generous, and giving, with lemon gel, candied orange peel, flowers, exotic spice, and a seam of licorice, especially on the finish, providing an almost autumnal hint to this otherwise quite summery gin. Both on its own or in a gin and tonic, it is delicious. My sample bottle is already halfway finished. Which is always a good sign.