An extra-special ruby vermouth di Torino from Martini.
A big step up from the standard Martini Rosso, Riserva Speciale includes a big portion of local wines from Pietmonte, with a little from Langhe DOC Nebbiolo. All the wines used are Italian, and specially selected by Beppe Musso, the Master Blender at Martini.
This vermouth is also made with three different kinds of wormwood (absinthium, pontica and vulgaris) as opposed to the standard two, with the result being added complexity. The wormwood is grown locally by the Erbe Aromatiche cooperative.
Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino uses different botanicals to the standard vermouth, carefully selected by Ivano Tonutti, Martini’s Master Herbalist. These botanicals include African red sandalwood and Holy thistle from Italy. Finally, extracts of these botanicals rest in Pietmontese Tino Oak casks for two months, to ensure fully harmonization and development of the flavours. Previously, this practice was commonplace at Martini, but fell out of favour several decades ago.
The final result is a peppery, complex vermouth, with refreshing herbal notes, berries, slight quinine, wood tannins, blackcurrants, wormwood and bittersweet grapes.
Fruity and full bodied, this is delicious in Manhattans, but also superb served over ice.