Sauternes estate Château Climens has partnered with Devon’s Salcombe Distilling Company to create a new cask-aged gin, marking the sixth release in the limited edition Voyager Series.
Named ‘Phantom’ after one of the Salcombe Fruit Schooners built in the small Devon port in 1867, the gin is inspired by the unique characteristics of Sauternes wines.
A total of 16 botanicals were chosen to create ‘Phantom’. Marigold flowers, bay leaf, savory, cypress, fennel, nettles and rose petals were selected from the bio-dynamic Château Climens estate. The remaining traditional botanicals include Macedonian juniper, English coriander seed, orange peel, orris root, lavender, orange blossom and apricots.
The gin is distilled using the exacting one-shot method and blended with pure naturally soft Dartmoor Water before being filled into the six casks, hand selected for their sweet perfumed residual aromas and properties. Five had been used to age Château Climens 2016 vintage and one Château Climens 2015 vintage.
After being aged for eight months, the casks were emptied and blended together, adding pure Dartmoor water to bring down to a bottling strength of 46% ABV.
A small amount of acacia honey is also added to “complement the naturally present notes in Château Climens’ Sauternes and to add further richness to the mouthfeel”.
The final spirit has tasting notes of “honeyed peaches, rose petals, cypress, lavender and orange blossom”, with “apricots, jasmine, toasted oak, spices and caramelised orange peel on the palate” and a “green savoury hint” from the nettles and fennel.
Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Company, said: “As a long-term admirer of Sauternes wines, it was an enormous privilege to work in collaboration with Bérénice Lurton and Frédéric Nivelle of Château Climens.
“Often mistakenly overlooked in favour of the more famous Château D’Yquem, the wines from the bio-dynamic estate of Château Climens are fresher and softer, with more finesse and grace.”
Bérénice Lurton, owner of Château Climens, added: “When Angus first visited Climens and explained his idea, we were totally hooked. I was fascinated by Salcombe Distilling Company’s story. We both share a deep respect for the history of winemaking and distilling, and a commitment to exceptional craftsmanship.”
Limited to 3,500 50cl bottles, Salcombe Gin Voyager Series ‘Phantom’ (46% ABV) is available from the Salcombe Gin Distillery and online via Master of Malt.