In a nutshell: Benchmark red vermouth that's off dry, but not overly sweet from the venerable Dolin company of Chambery in the French Alps.
The lowdown: Made to a recipe unchanged since 1821 which features over 30 spices and botanicals, among them coriander, hyssop, rhubarb and curacao Dolin's red vermouth is a bit lighter and less pungent than some of its Italian counterparts. It's got a coppery, amber colour and has warm aromas of prunes and walnuts tempered by a bit of spicy pepperiness together with some citrus peel and cloves.
When to drink: While it can be served straight on ice as a flavoursome aperitif, it's also an essential ingredient in cocktails such as a Negroni, or Manhattan.
They are the last independent company still producing Vermouth de Chambery. While all other producers have been subsumed into large corporations they continue to make a properly authentic product which earned France's only appellation controlée for vermouth in 1932.
The base wines, these days, are mainly sourced from the Armagnac region of South West France, but the plants and herbs that give the distinctive flavours and aromas are still found in the Alpine meadows of the Chambery region.
As a whole their range of vermouths retain a lighter, drier and less pungent character than a lot of their larger branded counterparts.