Martini Vermouth Riserva Speciale Rubino Review And Tasting Notes
The Martini Vermouth Riserva Speciale Rubino is a very stylized wine, dominated by an intrusive spiciness and smokiness, but on the whole, it defends itself. It has aromatic depth, flowers, herbs and rhubarb tones that give a certain thickness to the sip.
Overall it is not particularly expressive. Its great limitation is its static nature, but at least a colossus like Martini’s attempt to produce vermouth with a charismatic and peculiar cut is appreciable.
This Martini Vermouth Riserva Speciale almost seems to have been studied to reach an absurd degree of density. As if they wanted to blend vermouth and bitters in a single elixir so that it can be diluted with soda to make a pyrotechnic Americano cocktail.
But let’s be clear. This is not only a limit of this bottle but of many producers who have now got carried away by the creative vein and believe that every vermouth must be a cornucopia of spices, herbs and perfumes even if they lose sight of balance and integrity.
How is made?
It comes from a blend of Nebbiolo DOC from the Langhe and extracts of herbs, flowers, roots, cinchona, rhubarb and other flavorings left to macerate in alcohol. Aging in wood follows to gain spiciness, tannins and complexity, then we move on to the assembly of wines and aromas, corrected with sugar and the wine is bottled. The alcohol content is 18 degrees.
The bouquet is intense, sumptuous with tones of sandalwood and cedar that cling to dark and austere fruit, straight, earthy from the outset, accompanied by a series of lowered aromas that almost make you want to bite them. There is everything, it is useless to list so in bulk, but among flowers, alpine herbs, citrus fruits, and dried fruit, there is something for all tastes.
On the palate, it is tannic, rightly bitter, structured and warm, but made austere by the treatment of the wood, which adds a highly complex background. Overall it is vibrant, but despite being sweet and velvety vermouth, it never lets itself go to overripe or softness as an end in itself. Good persistence, discreet variety: it does its duty, even if the presence of wood is a little too pronounced.
What cocktails to make with the Martini Vermouth Riserva Speciale Rubino
As aperitif vermouth, it is not too bad if served with a slice of orange and ice. Still, its dark and spicy charge lends itself to mixing with gin and bitters to make classics like Negroni, even if the real surprise was the combination with whiskey to make Boulevardier and Manhattan.
The smoky tones, almost balsamic and rich in herbaceous hints, are perfect for enhancing a good whiskey. Both peaty single malt Scotch and Bourbon with a good dose of rye are fine. Recommended cocktails: Brooklyn, Scofflaw, Old Pal, Bobby Burns, Blood and Sand, Rob Roy.
Price of the Martini Vermouth Special Reserve Rubino
13-15 euro: in line with competing vermouths.