United States of Vermouth - Buona Notte Tramanto Due Vermouth
Origin: Columbia Gorge, Oregon USA
Producer: Buona Notte
Wine Base: Pinot Grigio
Known Botanicals: A blend of 10 herbs and botanicals including turmeric, ginger, chamomile, orange peel, and bitter roots
Look – Dark carnelian with vermillion overtones. A slight opacity.
Nose – Light orange and honeysuckle with a bit of balsam
Mouth – Light body. Opens with light citrus with a slight sugary edge, which turns quickly to a mildly acrid and medicinal bitterness, resolving on long, lingering, smooth tannin tinged with medicinal overtones.
Buona Notte winemaker, Graham Markel, worked and learned his craft under the tutelage of Antic Terra’s Maggie Harrison and Hiyu Farm’s Nate Ready. These Oregon winemakers have been at the forefront of new wave natural winemaking in the Pacific Northwest. Markel, with Buona Notte, follows in these trailblazers path, making his own mark on the contemporary wine-scape with his somewhat Italianate and more modern inspirations with his own winemaking.
His Buona Notte Tramanto Due Vermouth is made with skin contact vinification of Pinot Grigio (though he gives no information on how long the wine lays on the skins). He describes it as “demi-sweet" using locally sourced honey. It is barrel-aged using a solera system.
The vermouth itself is rather unpleasant. The lightly sweet citric opening goes quickly awry with a somewhat nasty mash of miscellaneous bittering agents and herbs. The slamming tannin at the end of the taste only manages to keep the medicinal tastes lingering long – well after choking the stuff down. Markel seems to be very serious about his endeavors vinifying and crafting wines, but certainly needs to re-jigger his whole approach to vermouth-making.
Wood / Vanilla 1
Bitter - 3
Astringent (barks, roots) 1
Vegetal / Herbal 0