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Monterosa Rosso Extra Dry Vermouth

The nose is deep and mysterious, evoking an ancient cellar as well as the deep woods. The mixture here brings both sweet spices as well as bitter mountain botanicals. A no nonsense vermouth that will reward the open-minded imbiber, drinking more like an amaro, full of sour cherries, bitter, tart, juicy and bursting endlessly with leafy herbs and desiccated vivid red berries. This is a bottle for the lovers of natural wines and nuances that make you think. Botanicals include wormwood, genepi, orange peels, gentian, rose petals, knapweeds, star anise, cinnamon, chinchona, dried cloves, angelica, cardamom, coriander, and more. Described as extra dry, falls on the border of off-dry to lightly sweet.

Daniele Garella works half his day as a graphic designer and half as a contadino or farmer. One can actually identify the grape variety or varieties, which here are Nebbiolo (that haunting nose and long tannins) and Croatina (the color, fruit warmth, and wide-shoulder grump tannin). The grapes come from his 100+ year old vineyard on native rootstock. If this were just his wine, it’d be special and rare; that it is his wine made into a Vermouth makes it one-of-a-kind. Most of the herbs are picked locally in Alto Piemonte, with a few outsiders thrown in for cosmopolitan measure.