FOOD + DRINK

The new premium Husk Spirit from De Toren Private Cellar

Story and photo Supplied.

What Port is to Portugal, Cava to Spain, and Champagne to France, so now too is Grappa to Italy. This is thanks to a relatively recent change in terminology. If it’s made elsewhere in the world, then the spirit which is distilled from grape skins that have been removed during the wine-making process, is referred to as Husk Spirit.

The “husks” or skins find new life in a clear, refined spirit that is anchored in wine production but takes flight in delicious new directions. Because De Toren Private Cellar is already a master of finely crafted wines, and because the estate holds sustainability and organic production values at its heart, it became natural for the winemaking team to think about reconceptualising a careful selection of grape husks.

“We were moved to produce a Husk Spirit because, from the beginning, the merging of science, art and innovation has driven us to become one of South Africa’s most famed and respected wineries today. Husk Spirit is yet another intersection of these disciplines and an expression of this pursuit,” explains multiple award-winning Cellar Master Charles Williams of the inspiration behind the bottle.

De Toren’s vision for its very first Husk Spirit has come to fruition with the virgin release of the ultra-premium De Toren Fusion V Premium Husk Spirit. This rare and limited edition is inspired by De Toren’s highly accoladed Fusion V wine, a symphonic Bordeaux style blend.

To produce this highly crafted grape skin spirit, Williams turned to the expertise of Wilderer Distilleries and forged a unique partnership. Wilderer is not only South Africa’s first private distillery but also the most awarded, with over 70 international medals and awards, including many Gold and Double Gold Medals.

This level of excellence is perfectly in keeping with De Toren’s own much-deserved renown. The luxury Stellenbosch estate has been awarded The Highest Ever Rated Wines by the reputable USA publisher Wine Enthusiast and the magazine has also twice nominated De Toren as New World Winery of the Year. Back home in South Africa, De Toren has been ranked as one of the Top 10 Red Wine Producers in South Africa by the South African Wine Index. These international accolades confirm De Toren as not only South Africa’s most highly rated Bordeaux styled red wines, but indeed amongst the world’s finest red wines.

“In true pioneering style, De Toren Private Cellar, the masters of Bordeaux, collaborated with the master distiller, Wilderer, who specializes in crafting luxury gin and grappa. From this elite partnership came the limited edition De Toren Fusion V Premium Husk Spirit.” says Williams.

Inspired by the iconic De Toren Fusion V wine and the meticulous steps taken in crafting this bespoke blend, the idea for Fusion V Premium Husk Spirit was born. Using carefully chosen De Toren grape skins, five cultivar-specific spirits were skilfully, and separately, distilled. These five represent the iconic Fusion V red blend, namely, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Following the individual distillation of each, the blending process commenced. After this, the blended spirit was matured in a single French Oak barrel.

“It was quite an amazing experience to taste the five different spirits next to each other and see how unique they were. Blending them together in just the right percentages revealed one very unique, complex spirit. Another point of distinction for our Husk Spirit, is that distillers are generally reliant on receiving grape skins as a by-product. In our case, in envisioning this premium product, we were able to choose specific skins of our organically grown grapes and deliver them at the highest quality to our distilling partner.”

These points of difference make De Toren Fusion V Premium Husk Spirit unique. The resulting spirit is gloriously golden-hued and redolent of complex and well-rounded notes on the palate – compliments of the Oak maturation.

The ideal digestif, meal accompaniment, or savour any time favourite, the new Husk Spirt is a more than worthy addition to De Toren’s formidable stable of excellence. “Drink our Husk Spirit on its own, as an aperitif, or enjoy it the traditional Italian way as a Caffè corretto, which is an espresso shot “corrected” with a small amount of grappa. Feeling a bit more adventurous? There are numerous ways to incorporate this spirit into delicious cocktails,” says Williams.

Whatever your preference, De Toren Fusion V Premium Husk Spirit is best enjoyed at an optimal temperature of 14 ºC to 16ºC. Being an aged spirit, it is complex, well-rounded and smooth, and thus will hugely benefit from being drunk at the right temperature. Similarly, the optimal grappa stemware – a tulip-shaped or cognac glass – will enhance the experience. De Toren Fusion V Premium Husk Spirit should be allowed to breathe for 10 to 15 minutes before serving to appreciate its premium craftsmanship to the full.

Only a mere 529 bottles of this extremely limited edition spirit exist. Each bottle is individually numbered and carefully packaged by hand in its special edition wooden case, making it a true collector’s item.

To reserve your bottle of De Toren Fusion V Premium Husk Spirit please visit www.de-toren.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.