From a maverick producer based in Asti. Moscato and Cortese with herbs that include marjoram, thyme, basil and oregano.
Pale gold. Smells of pomelo rind and lime-blossom honey, tarragon and fresh-crushed oregano leaves. Stunningly perfect balance. Sweet, but with the bitter-and-sour balance of lemon and grapefruit marmalade. Full of fresh herbs, a cool, breathy, minty, liquorice cloud in the mouth that takes me back to Greece in September, crushing fresh tiny basil leaves and bay leaves in my hands as I walked down to the beach, hot road under bare feet, the smell of eucalyptus in my nostrils and the sweet taste of tiny green figs lingering in my mouth. Just bitter enough to pull your shoulders back, to send electrostatic tension into your bones. Just sweet enough to brush feathers down your skin. Just sharp enough to silver-string the pearls of honeyed citrus violin tight across the bridge and cut. Just enough herbs to pull the length deep and complex and searching into the next mouthful. Nothing would make me mix this vermouth into a cocktail. It is mesmerising in its own right. It needs to be drunk, savoured, meditated over, as you would the finest wine. Worthy of its price tag. 18/20 points. (TC)"
Vinous Reverie Notes
In Mauro Vergano's words: "A brief description of the production cycle which all the products share: The first step is the preparation of the extract or “concia”. This is done by leaving a mixture of chopped herbs and spices in alcohol for about 20/30 days. Then the extract is filtered and left to age for a few months. The second step is the actual preparation of the product. To make the product I mix the extract, sugar and alcohol. The last step is clarification followed by filtering which produces a clear product with long-term stability. I would like to describe it as a traditional Vermouth/Bitter Piedmontese aperitif. The use of Grignolino as the base wine was one of my (few!) good intuitions; naturally, the choice of producer could only fall to the Grignolino from Casina Tavjin: a wine with an intense, dry fragrance that has the right body and isn’t particularly tannic. In a word: the best Grignolino that I have ever tasted. Like all Vermouths, the extract contains Absinthe (in this case a mixture of the Maggiore, Gentile and Pontico varieties). But in order to transform a Vermouth into an Americano you have to integrate the herbs at its base with other more bitter ones like Gentianella, citrus zest like Bitter Orange and Chinotto."