CAPREOLUS GOOSEBERRY EAU DE VIE 2020
As with all of the Capreolus Eaux de Vie, the latest gooseberry release has never been distilled in the UK before.
As distiller and Capreolus creator Barney Wilczak tells us "the gooseberry was a fruit I had wanted to work with for years".
What he has created is nothing short of sublime.
After finding small family farm less than 30 miles from the Cirencester-based distillery, they worked together on growing the most exquisitely ripe, flora filled parcels of such nuance and complexity.
Just 200kg of gooseberries could be picked each day that met the requirements. Arriving in small parcels, Wilczak received 1,000kg in total. All the berries were hand cleaned, wild fermented and carefully distilled.
"We work in a terroir driven way which means that we focus within a 50 mile area of the distillery. We are in such a historically important fruit breeding region, and with such a unique maritime climate, that we are more interested in a purely quality driven approach that showcases our terroir and the plants which grow well within it. By working only from the fruits natural sugar (rather than using just a few kilos of fruit and neutral alcohol to boost yields as per most EDV producers) we have incredible compression - up to 45kg of fruit in the litre. This raises normally imperceptible flavours which bring us closer to the parent plant or tree and are indicative of the climate and landscape in which they grow."
"The gooseberries are from a small family farm. Normally picking to supermarket standards of bullet hard fruit we have worked together to pick at an absolutely incredible ripeness. They are translucent, filled with flowers and show great complexity and nuance. Only 200kg can be picked at this level per day so we received a ton in small batches which we hand sorted and cleaned, gently crushing them before fermentation by wild yeasts (whose successional nature in fermentation brings its own character) and then triple distillation. Every decision is made by me on a purely sensory basis."
On the nose it is full yet yielding. Filled with cool herbaceous notes of the ripest of gooseberries. Juice filled, expressing acidity and sweetness, it is underscored by fresh blackcurrant leaf, watermint and hints of almond.
To taste we find a beautiful floral brightness that is anchored by rich herbaceous notes. Very complex, with highlights of spice, mint, blackcurrant and ripe wood that appear and reoccur; the palate being coated in a shifting and extremely long lasting finish. An essence of pure, truly ripe gooseberry.
375ml | 43% ABV | Edition of 128 bottles