Vermouth is a category that I’ve touched on a couple of times in the past, although these have mainly been some of the more recognisable names such as Cinzano, as well as covering the likes of Cocchi and Sacred, but I’ve personally noticed a trend that seems to be happening here in the UK, with the rise of some crafted variations hitting our shores.
Mancino vermouth is one such brand. Arriving to us at the back-end of December last year, Mancino hails from Italy, and more specifically, world-renowned Italian bartender Giancarlo Mancino. But how did Giancarlo come to name a range of vermouth’s after himself?
In truth, there doesn’t need to be a stellar history to a brand, or an ingenious idea to make it work, instead, inspiration and dedication seem to be behind the name. So lets take a look.
Giancarlo mastered four years of research, culminating in the year 2011. During these years, he personally found forty different botanicals which he deemed to be worthy to be a part of his new spirit, travelling to the likes of India, Thailand, Vietnam and England and his native Italy. Once found, he utilised a family run traditional mill that dates back to the 1930’s, located in Piedmont, Northern Italy. It’s here that he grounds the botanicals over thirty days.
The distillery he uses after this is considered the birthplace of many wines and vermouths since 1957. The perfect place to steep the botanical extracts within sugar beet spirit (30% abv) before being added to a Trebbiano di Romagna wine base (12% abv). After being mixed, it is cooled and filtered for a week.
Once finished, it will spend the next six months within a stainless steel tank, before being bottled and labelled.
The bottles themselves adorn on the each the image of the town surrounded by King Vittorio Emanuele gold coins. Four bottling’s are currently in production – Secco, Bianco Ambrato, Rosso Amaranto and Vecchio. With this, below, I’d like to present to you my tasting notes –
Mancino Secco – 18%
Infused with 19 botanicals. Gentle aromas of sage and lemon on the nose. Soft, a little dry and hints of the Trebbiano di Romagna wine. On the palate, light, a little bold with a sour flavour that is slowly balanced out. Crisper on the finish, with a slight heat of spice on the end.
Mancino Bianco Ambrato – 16%
Infused with 37 botanicals. A fresh yet dry aroma of elderflower and chamomile on the nose. Instant sweetness on the palate creating a thick texture. Orange flavours are present, with a sharp grapefruit finish that lingers. A dry ending.
Mancino Rosso Amaranto – 16%
Infused with 38 botanicals, 10 of which are used for Amaro. Plenty of rhubarb on the nose, with softer aromas of vanilla and juniper coming through slowly. Soft on the palate, with plenty of subtle sweetness. Hints of iodine, but balance out with spices to create a dry finish.
An absolute stunning range, with a hard to place for a personal favourite. They’re, to me, just not what you expect a vermouth to be like. I’ve much admiration for other brands, but can find it hard to enjoy a couple on their own. These though, worthy of my full attention. If a tipple in a glass is not your fancy, maybe ask your bartender for one of these –
Stir with ice and strain on the rocks in a rock glass. Garnish with a wedge of orange and grapefruit twist.
40 ml Gin
20 ml Vodka
30 ml Mancino Vermouth Bianco Ambrato
2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupet. Garnish with an orange twist.
Two classics to be enjoyed at home or in your favourite bar. If you have it at home though, you could say it’s your own nod to Giancarlo’s inspiration. His vermouth takes its hat off to his home town of Pignola in Southern Italy. The main square, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, is where Giancarlo and his friends played football as children.
Oh, and if you’re lucky, there’s also the rare Mancino Vecchio. This vermouth is a variation of the Rosso Amaranto, but has been rested in a single Italian oak barrel for one year making it the first barrel aged, sweet vermouth! With only 800 bottles for the year 2013-2014 across the globe, this vermouth is only available in limited supply!
Seek and enjoy.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.