2021 MARGAN OFF-SWEET VERMOUTH
The 2021 Ceres Hill Off-Dry Vermouth captures the agricultural essence of our home property in the depths of winter (and a state-wide lockdown). It’s the first of our single season releases, however like previous vintages is made from Semillon grapes as its base. Rather than emulate a traditional vermouth style, this is a unique expression of the fresh botanicals grown in our kitchen garden and natural surroundings, steeped in our iconic Ceres Hill Semillon and spirit.
This sits in and around the Cocchi Americano style with an Orange bitters dry edge. Wormwood, blood orange, kaffir lime, lemongrass, marigold and lavender aromats build on the classic Semillon palate of pine lime splice for a bittersweet and textural finish.
We harvest our Semillon and ferment to dryness with a portion sent away to be distilled. Lockdown settled in late June and we harvested a selection of compatible aromatic ingredients from around the grounds and our kitchen garden. These included wormwood, blood orange, mandarin, lime leaf, calendula, lavender, lemongrass amongst others…
After steeping in spirit for some time, the components were blended with the table wine, some organic cane sugar, seasoned with some 2022 verjuice (same vineyard) and a dosage of our solera Verdelho ‘Madeira’ style fortified. Two months of rest in old French oak seemed to resolve any grievances and we filled all 500 bottles of this yesterday without further preservation, fining or filtration at 19% ABV.
We recommend this enjoyed simply on ice, with a dash of soda or splashed liberally into your favourite gin and mixer. If you would like to get a little creative, the following mixed drinks have proven to be very tasty…
Margan to Milan
45ml Ceres Hill Off-Dry Vermouth
- Stirred down with ice in a mixing glass
- Strained into a cocktail coupe
- Garnish with the zest of grapefruit (any citrus will work well here)
La Nina Spritz
60ml Ceres Hill Off-Dry Vermouth
60ml La Nina Sparkling Rose (feel free to add more depending on how much attitude adjustment you need)
30ml Soda/Mineral Water
- Build in a wine glass
- Add ice and give a little mix
- Garnish with a citrus wedge, sprig of mint or some lavender (no real rules here, just something aromatic)