For product availability, please select your "Ship to" state above.Got it, I'll ship to California
Tosti Dry Vermouth
Set upon a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piedmont are the source of some of the country’s longest-lived and most sought-after wines. Vineyards cover a great majority of the land area—especially in Barolo—with the most prized sites at the top hilltops or on south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. Piedmont has a continental climate with hot, humid summers leading to cold winters and precipitation year-round. The reliable autumnal fog provides a cooling effect, especially beneficial for Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most prestigious variety.
In fact, Nebbiolo is named exactly for the arrival of this pre-harvest fog (called “nebbia” in Italian), which prolongs cluster hang time and allows full phenolic balance and ripeness. Harvest of Nebbiolo is last among Piedmont's varieties, occurring sometime in October. This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure; the best examples can require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. Across the Tanaro River, the Roero region, and farther north, the regions of Gattinara and Ghemme, also produce excellent quality Nebbiolo.
Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin and juicy red fruit. Dolcetto, Piedmont’s other important red grape, is usually ready within a couple of years of release.
White wines, while less ubiquitous here, should not be missed. Key varieties include Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, Erbaluce and the sweet, charming Muscat, responsible for the brilliantly recognizable, Moscato d'Asti.
Historically a dry, herb-infused, and sometimes pleasantly bitter fine wine, the ancient Greeks and Romans valued it for its great medicinal properties. They especially favored the addition of Artemisia absinthium, or wormwood, which they believed to have significant gastric curative properties. In the 16th century, a Bavarian medicinal wine flavored with wormwood called wermuth became popular in the French bourgeois circles. They called it vermutwein—soon becoming simply known in English as, vermouth.
Today vermouth isn’t regarded so much as a medicinal product but its variations are indispensable to any modern mixologist. The actual concept of modern, large-scale vermouth production started with the Piemontese in the 18th century where proximity to the Alps facilitated a great supply of desired herbs. Brands such as Cinzano, Martini, and then the French, Noilly Prat, led the way to the modern cocktail age.
Typically vermouths are Italian if red and sweet and French if golden and drier in character. The Italian Carpano shows deep flavors like cocoa, almond, marmalade, toffee, mint and bitter herbs while Contratto is sweet and more straightforward. Today France produces a delicately spiced vermouth called Chambéry from Savoie and Lillet of Bordeaux, owned by Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou in St. Julien, is made from Sauvignon blanc and Semillon.