One of the Northwest’s sweet spots for Italian varieties is Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Washington’s Red Mountain, and winemaker Patrick Taylor in Carlton, Ore., uses Nebbiolo from the Holmes family’s famed sites for this beguiling example of vermouth. Longtime Portland chef Lisa Lanxon also is credited with providing input on the recipe that involves four years in barrel and more than 20 ingredients that include digestive botanicals such as quinine — known in Italy as chinato. It’s a unique and almost endless ride with cherry bitters, Craisin, woodruff, anise and orange peel backed by tannins akin to filbert skin, which — combined with the Clear Creek Distillery brandy — go a long way in tackling the residual sugar of 9%. Those who enjoy the tough-to-find Sanpellegrino Sparkling Chinotto experience, pour this over ice or showcase it in a cocktail. Cana’s Feast shares a dozen recipes for cocktails from Willamette Valley mixologists, include one by Taylor that he’s dubbed Earl Argyle because it incorporates a healthy offering of Argyle Winery’s Extended Tirage Brut. Taylor also suggests serving this as digestif with roasted nuts and bittesweet chocolate.
Production: 100 cases