Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambery
Dolin Blanc is a fresh, elegant, clear vermouth with an edge of vanilla and balanced sweetness. Pour in a pitcher over chopped fruit or serve it as they do in France - a sliced strawberry, splash of soda and a lemon twist. Try it in a cocktail with any clear spirit. It is a phenomenal accompaniment to fresh cow's milk cheese or creamy bloomy-rind cheese.
Dolin is among the few remaining independent producers of vermouth and the last producing Vermouth de Chambéry. Dolin continues to make the authentic product according to the principles which earned Chambéry France’s only A.O. for vermouth back in 1932. This means production in Chambéry itself, maceration of real plants rather than pre-prepared infusions, and sweetening only by grape must, wine and/or sugar. A hallmark of Vermouth de Chambéry was the creation of the Blanc (aka Bianco) style, a first clear vermouth, of which the Dry recipe has been celebrated in cocktails from the 1920s onwards.
Tucked up into the sheltered foothills of the Alps where conditions vary considerably from one spot to the next, the vineyards of Savoie are widely dispersed within three main growing districts. These are Seyssel, Bugey and general Savoie. Within these are 16 different cru vineyard areas.
The region boasts a large number of unique indigenous grapes, incidentally unrelated to any nearby regions’ varieties. The styles here tend toward organic and traditional. In the past, the dynamic summer and winter tourist population consumed most Savoie wine before it could leave the area but the recent interest in esoteric varieties and natural, artisan wine has brought a renewed interest to Savoie.
In Savoie's most northern vineyards near Lake Geneva, the Chasselas grape dominates. Moving south, the white grape known as Altesse (also sometimes called Roussette) is responsible for Roussette de Savoie as well as Roussette de Seyssel.
Just north of Chambéry the white, Jacquère grows in the cru of Jongieux, along with Altesse, and Chardonnay. In the cru of Chautagne, the red grapes Gamay, Pinot Noir, and, especially, the local Mondeuse do well.
Chambéry, once famous for its vermouth, contains the crus of Abymes, Apremont, Arbin, Chignin and Cruet.
Historically a dry, herb-infused, and sometimes pleasantly bitter fine wine, today vermouth is indispensable to any modern mixologist. Typically vermouths are Italian if red and sweet and French if golden and drier in character.