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Friday, 14 February 2014

Riserva Carlo Alberto - Hand-Crafted Italian Vermouth

A review of three vermouths from Riserva Carlo Alberto

Vermouth is an aromatised fortified wine flavoured with botanicals - originating in Turin, it was originally medicinal, then an aperitif before finally gaining favour as the most versatile of all cockatil ingredients, used in the Martini, the Manhattan and the Negroni.

With a name that comes from wormwood, these hand-crafted Italian Vermouths from Riserva Carlo Alberto in Turin are produced to original recipes made for the King of Savoy, Carlo Alberto, in the 19th century with herbs and spices blended with DOC wines.

Extra Dry pale sandy yellow; complex, bitter, almost peat-smoke nose; sweetly citrussy and refreshing, with complex sweet spice and botanical underpinnnings and a lingering finish. Light, elegant and harmonious. Good.

Bianco mid-straw yellow; aromatic citrus and minty, bittersweet star anise spice; sweet citrus, bitter green herbs and sweet aromatic spices and, again, a persistent finish. More expressive and less classically elegant than the Extra Dry.

Rosso cola-brown; bitter herbs, aromatic spices and botanicals; sweet orange and cherry fruit matched with bitter spices and bitter green herbs. Good underpinnings and well-balanced. Good.

Serve the Extra Dry as an aperitif; the Bianco with roast pork rubbed with coriander seeds and sage; the Rosso with roast beef with herby gravy and horseradish sauce.

Provided for review; Riserva Carlo Alberto Vermouths are available in 75cl bottles and retail from £21 - 24 at www.thedrinkshop.com, www.drinksupermarket.com, & also at Gerry’s Wines & Spirits at 74 Old Compton Street, London (www.gerrys.uk.com).

Other related articles
Salvatore Calabrese Liquore di Limone
Pastis Henri Bardouin, Provence

Riserva Carlo Alberto - website
Emporia Brands (importer) - website

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