Vermouth is something that should reside in the survival kit of every household and it gladdens my heart that so many small-batch spirits are appearing in our fine, brown land.
In my household, Negroni is actually a food group and an important one. It has an uncanny ability to make things a lot better, though in recent times I have gravitated towards the ‘Boulevardier’, which sounds dead posh and replaces the gin component of the Negroni with bourbon, preferably a good one with a higher rye component. But, hey, enough of my yacking, let’s talk about the Causes & Cures Vermouth.
This particular Vermouth hails from Giant Steps winemaker Steve Flamstead in the Yarra Valley and at its core is a hand-picked, biodynamic Viognier-base wine that spends 18 months in old oak with no sulphur and develops a flor, much like the ones found in the oxidative wine styles of the Jura or, of course, the famous sherries of Spain. This lends a distinct rancio or nutty character to the Vermouth and a definite lip-smacking savoury edge.
Local and imported botanicals are macerated separately in the fortifying spirit before blending and weave their magic on the nose and palate. Dried Seville oranges, lemon, wormwood, juniper, gentian flower, orris root cardamom and cinchona bark all lend their hand to paint a complex picture.
Savoury, complex, beautifully balanced and just off-dry, it is great drinking on the rocks with a slice of orange, with a crushed bay leaf or as a mixer for an Aperol Spritz or Negroni/Boulevardier. Stash some in the fridge.
CAUSES & CURES Semi-Dry White Vermouth