GSN Review: La Valdotaine Amaro Dente di Leone & Verney Vermouth

Vermouth was invented in Turin at the end of the 18th century and was made fashionable by the royal house of Savoia. Soon there was an explosion of different vermouth recipes. The formula for Verney was inspired by a document attributed to Abbé Edouard Berard, a botanist from the Aosta Valley. The recipe for his special ‘mountain wine’ called for parietta (Savory) benefort (Artemisia or Wormwood) as well as the aromatic sarieula or Alpine Thyme. These mountain herbs are the essence of the uniqueness of Verney.

La Valdôtaine is a small mountain distillery which draws its inspiration from local traditions, where old copper stills produce small batches of hand-crafted spirits. Rare mountain botanicals are infused and then carefully distilled. The traditional alembics, local Alpine ingredients and mineral-rich waters give a special mountain character to Verney.

Verney Vermouth (16.5% abv)
Visual: Dark reddish-brown.
Nose: Sweetened herb blend with a hint of vine fruit. Aromatic and mouth-watering.
Taste: Medium sweetness with a light and pleasing herbal tang. There is no hint of burnt sugar or caramel, but instead a light and refreshing wine base which shines throughout.
Finish: Medium, with a pleasant smooth finish tempered by a slight bitter edge.
Overall: A very nice sweet vermouth which hits all the marks of a traditional, well made product.
GSN Rating: A-

The dandelion, (literally ‘lion’s tooth’) was always thought to possess magical powers. The Ancient Greeks believed the seeds were dust thrown up by the chariot of Helios, the sun-god. Dandelion leaves nourished Theseus for thirty days before his victory over the Minotaur. Lovers attempt to discover their amorous destinies by blowing dandelion seeds into the wind …‘loves me, loves me not…’. Herbalists favor the mountain variety with its smaller, richer leaves and intense aroma. Amaro Dente di Leone blends dandelion with other Alpine herbs such as gentian and genepy. It is sweetened with a pinch of muscovado sugar.

Amaro Dente di Leone (32.6% abv)
Visual: Dark reddish-orange.
Nose: A hint of pine and mountain herbs. Think Ricola.
Taste: A tangy herb bill lightly sweetened and tempered by a fairly forward alcohol base. Quite different and leaning more toward the drier, more bitter amaros.
Finish: Medium-long with a palate opening digestif presence.
Overall: Again, a fine product that is both familiar and unusual. This is perfect for an after dinner shot or used in a complex cocktail.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: La Valdotaine