Wednesday, February 6, 2013
[V y a] Vermouth you ask? Vya Sweet Vermouth begins as a blend of Tempranillo and Orange Muscat wines. It is then hand infused at the Quady Winery with a selection of over seventeen herbs and spices. The botanicals come from the parts of plants where the energy is concentrated: seeds, skins, bark, and roots. It is these constituents that balance between the bitter components and the sweetness. In Vya Sweet Vermouth this balance is amazing. The aromas show cinnamon, verbena, berries, damiana, nutmeg, white flowers, orange & lemon blossoms, chamomile, cloves, ginger, meringue and orange zest in a manner that is completely inviting. The tastes follows the nose with an intricate complexity that resolves on a endearing bitterness. The finish builds from the flavors and settles quick with immaculately layered, elegant spices lingering. Try this neat, chilled, on ice, with a twist, in sparkling wine, with soda water or in any cocktail.
The newest addition to the Martini & Rossi line of aromatized / fortified wines is Rosato and its inspiration was directly from the personal tasting notes of Luigi Rossi, one of the house’s legendary namesakes. Crafted by artisans armed with these notes, an impeccable blend of red & white wines and Mediterranean botanicals something original was created to grace us with a delicious extension of a beloved apertivo category. Aromas meld, displaying fresh smashed grapes, cinnamon, raspberry, lemon and citrus that are magnified by a multitude of blossoms supported by spicy back-notes of cloves, nutmeg and quinine. To carry on from the aromas there is a lovely structure and bitterness that starts at the fruits and balanced by the spicy bitter tones. The finish is tart, vigorous, long and immanently interesting. The fragile properties of Rosato induce perceptive attention and awareness in the palate preparing you for the evening meal or afternoon delights. Try this neat, chilled, on ice, with a twist / slash of soda or in a lovely cocktail.
In 1872, Paul and Raymond Lillet-brothers, distillers and merchants of wines & spirits, founded La Maison Lillet in the South of France. Around that time, Bordeaux became an important place for the European wine. It was also a main harbor for import of spices, citrus and plants. Combine all of that with the idea of making an aperitif in Bordeaux and you have Lillet. It is a French aperitif wine, blend of 85% Bordeaux wines (the Rose is a blend of the ones used for Lillet Rouge and Lillet Blanc) and 15% macerated liqueurs. The nose is replete with floral tones, honey, fresh forest, champagne, berries, ale, red apple, orange, cider, lemon, melon and flowers many kinds of citrus and tiger basil—all these scents that are implied by subtle aromas. The flavors follows the aromas with an articulate wine component added. The finish is clean, fresh and slightly bitter, the tonic nature of this aperitif is amplified to that of a wine—it is to be enjoyed. Try this neat, chilled, on ice, with a twist, in sparkling wine, with soda water or in a cocktail—and enjoy.
La Pinta has changed their look but kept the liqueur as wonderful as ever. La Pinta (named apparently after the first ship in Columbus' group of 3 to see the new world) represents the union between the “old & new” worlds. They begin with excellent Clase Azul Tequila that is infused with the juice from a 'myriad' of Pomegranates, that are then aged for a full 12 months to allow the flavors to meld and reach the amazing balance of tart / sweet / earthy that we expect from LaPinta. The aromas are pure unadulterated pomegranate—subtle, earthy and tart, but with a bright sweetness. On the palate these scents are attained and transcended with the greatest of ease: tart, tangy, lovely fresh pomegranate—that is so clean and sapid that it bursts with juicy ripe fruit. As the flavors of fruit quietly pass, the scrumptious flavors of illustrious Clase Azul shows. La Pinta is unbelievable, enjoy it chilled, as an aperitif or in a cocktail.
Hardy began in 1863, with a gentleman named Anthony Hardy, who became so taken with the Cognac region that he packed up everything and moved. He established himself as a purveyor of the highest quality wines and spirits, but what he was most connected to and the only product that bears his family name is Hardy Cognac. Hardy is synonymous with superior Cognac and that is recognized the world over. Their Pineaudes Charente is called Le Coq D'Or and it is named after the Hardy family crest “The Golden Rooster”. The first thing you see when visiting an old world château is the family crest over the doorway and Le Coq D'Or is the perfect greeting for a guest. It is made by adding cognac to grape juice before it could ferment and then the mistelle is aged to concentrate the flavors and allow them to evolve as they meld. The nose shows grape juice (concentrated), golden raisins, quince and delicate spice. The flavors are exactly what you expect from smelling with the addition of honey soaked bran and persimmon. The lovely flavors and clean mouth-feel are a fruity graciousness ready to be shared. The finish is crisp, refreshing and clean. This is perfectly enjoyable to drink, it is rich, fruity and the consummate offering for any occasion. Have it chilled, on ice, with a twist or in a delectable cocktail.
Are you ready for this chocolate lovers? This is chocolate taken to a whole new level! Named for its inventor, Tad (Tadeusz) Dorda, Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur is chocolate and Chopin rye vodka and it is incomprehensibly good. Chocolate on top of chocolate, supported by chocolate—in vodka, oh my goodness. The resulting rich, creamy liqueur is decadent—to say the very least. As the owner of Chopin vodka (Tad) Dorda has the resources to make whatever he wants, so he tapped into some great Polish chocolate makers as partners so he could become a 'vodka' chocolatier... and this stuff is awesome! The aromas are chocolate: cake, icing, syrup, cookies, bars, fudge, ice cream. Basically terrifying, the flavors are like the nose but with CHOCOLATE STACKED ON TOP. THIS IS SERIOUSLY CHOCOLATEY. The finish is a nice chocolate fade, clean, lingering and delectable. Enjoy neat, on ice, with coffee, over ice cream or anywhere in the place of chocolate syrup!
This is a connoisseurs treasure. So much so. that Robert Parker said: “Never have I been so enchanted by a before drink as this”. That sounds like fair praise to me. Christian Drouin Coeur de Lion Pommeaude Normandie is a delicate blend of young Calvados with un-fermented apple juice. After fortifying the apple juice it (with the Calvados) are aged a minimum age of 14 months in oak barrels (for the Appellation rules.); Christian Drouin's Pommeau, is aged 3 or 4 years to achieve a more integrated balance with no alcohol showing. The nose reveals an ebullience of fruit characteristics, starting at concentrated apple juice, blossoms soaked in honey and evolving to caramel and dark wood. The taste display the aromas, but not as sweet as implied by the scents and immanently much more complex. It also shows delicate spices and herbs dancing in the juicy sweetness—so delicious. The finish carries all this in a clean, full and lingering display. Try this neat, chilled, with food, before food, with blue cheese, melons, dark chocolate... you get the idea.
BoissiereSweet Vermouth is made from a recipe developed in 1857. Originally, Boissiere was French brand of vermouth made in the Chambéry region, in 1971, seeking a new home, the brand relocated to the other side of Mt Blanc to Turin Italy; so, this vermouth can claim two of the “capitols” of vermouth as it home. Vermouth begins with a neutral, dry white wine (generally) which is then blend in an eau de vie that has been infused with a special selection of herbs, flowers, fruit peels, seeds, plants and whatever botanicals needed to achieve its specific and distinct attributes. The addition of the eau de vie infused with the 'singular botanical recipe' into the wine makes vermouth an 'aromatized'-'fortified' wine. With sweet vermouth caramelized sugar is then added to achieve desired sweetness and color. In Boissiere, the aromas start at clean flowers, marjoram, coriander, citrus, chamomile, cake, clove, herbal and hints of nutmeg. The flavor articulately follows the aromas awash in a well integrated sweetness. All of this leads to a lean, fresh finish. Try this in any cocktail that calls for sweet vermouth, with soda water, on ice, with a twist or neat with a meal.