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Outlandish Claims

Handmade, Small Batch Vermouth from a Winemaking Star

To those in the wine trade, Bryan Martin will need little introduction. This multitalented chef-turned-gun-winemaker has lit up the Canberra scene with his delicious and sometimes esoteric wines under his now cult-like Ravensworth wine label. Martin spent his formative winemaking years as the secret weapon of sorts at Clonakilla. As Tim Kirk’s right-hand man, he honed his winemaking craft working with some of the finest fruit in the country, working for one of the finest producers in the country. His experience working as a chef heightened his sensitivity to texture and most importantly flavour—something he has injected into the very foundation of his winemaking style.

“The idea is to load neutral spirit with heaps of flavour, then fortify the base wine balancing this with sweetness, either added or residual grape sweetness.” Bryan Martin, winemaker

More recently Martin has turned his hand to Vermouth and, wouldn’t you know it: where there’s smoke there’s fire. Outlandish Claims’ first release (2017) was a magnificent Grenache-based Vermouth spiked with Australian native botanicals and a mix of bitter roots like gentian, orris and angelica. Subsequent releases are based on Nebbiolo and use dried blood orange with cinchona (quinine bark) as the bitters. There’s also a white, currently based on Chardonnay and Roussanne varieties, which fuses golden queen peaches finger lime and quince, with a good seasoning of coriander seed, home-grown wormwood and dried gentian. Depending on the vintage, a Rosé can also make an appearance. 

These small batch spirits are only made when vintage and climatic conditions suit. So, it feels all the more special when we do get a release, as it can be years in between incarnations—Outlandish Claims is only produced when great Ravensworth wine is produced. 

Currently Available

Outlandish Claims Bitter Tonic Red
Bibendum Bar

Outlandish Claims Bitter Tonic Red

To most of our clients, Bryan Martin will need little introduction. This multitalented chef-turned-gun-winemaker is renowned for his work at Clonakilla and has lit up the Canberra scene with his delicious and sometimes esoteric wines. Produced in small, 300-litre batches, the Vermouth’s bitter notes come from cinchona. The 2022 vintage of his red bitter tonic has a base of Canberra Nebbiolo, which was naturally fermented for six weeks on skins and then matured in five-year-old French Barriques. It was fortified and macerated with a tincture of semi-dried blood orange, cinchona, coriander, juniper and tarragon, and finishes with residual sugar of around 50g/L. The latest release has considerably upped the ante. Inspired by the Barolo Chinato style of bitters, this Vermouth does not stuff around. The use of barrel-aged, high-quality Canberra Nebbiolo gives a strikingly complex and rich drink. Drink Ideas: New York Sour – Vermouth Float, Negroni, Americano or Bijou

The latest release has considerably upped the ante. Inspired by the Barolo Chinato style of bitters, this Vermouth does not stuff around. The use of barrel-aged, high-quality Canberra Nebbiolo gives a strikingly complex and rich drink. Drink Ideas: New York Sour – Vermouth Float, Negroni, Americano or Bijou

"During a recent Foo Fighters gig, late drummer Taylor Hawkins’ son Shane stepped up to the drum kit to play My Hero? It was explosive. This is the liquid equivalent, so full of fresh blood orange flavours, it’s like fireworks on the palate. There’s also coriander seed, tarragon and cinchona (quinine) in the mix."
Katie Spain, Good Food, The Age
Outlandish Claims Bitter Tonic Red
Bibendum Bar
Outlandish Claims Bitter Tonic Rosé
Bibendum Bar

Outlandish Claims Bitter Tonic Rosé

It’s Vermouth, but not as we know it. Thanks Bryan Martin, you’ve amazed us with your creativity yet again. This is a place where vermouth-nerds and sherry-nuts can unite. The base is 100% Nebbiolo, which started life as rosé and was aged under flor (like sherries from Jerez). This oxidated wine style provided the base for a tincture of blood orange, cinchona, wormwood, coriander, juniper and pepperberry leaf (enter vermouth). This is fresher and zestier than your average rosso, so it’s probably going to find it’s happy home as an aperitif (with a side of manzanilla olives). However its firm body and unfiltered nature will see it sliding into a dirty Negroni, Manhattan or our own Bryan Martinez: 45mls Poor Toms Fools Cut, 30mls Outlandish Claims Rose, 10mls Maraschino Liqueur, dash of Angostura Bitters; stir all ingredients and pour into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange rind.

This is fresher and zestier than your average rosso, so it’s probably going to find it’s happy home as an aperitif (with a side of manzanilla olives). However its firm body and unfiltered nature will see it sliding into a dirty Negroni, Manhattan or our own Bryan Martinez: 45mls Poor Toms Fools Cut, 30mls Outlandish Claims Rose, 10mls Maraschino Liqueur, dash of Angostura Bitters; stir all ingredients and pour into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange rind.

Outlandish Claims Bitter Tonic Rosé
Bibendum Bar

“The name and the packaging of this fabulously complex and satisfying drink evoke the medicinal heritage of vermouth - and other wines infused with botanicals. Dark, bitter, rich: it’s easy to imagine it doing you some good.” Max Allen (on the Outlandish Claims Bitter Tonic Red), Gourmet Traveller

Country

Australia

Primary Region

Canberra District, New South Wales

People

Winemaker: Bryan Martin

Availability

National

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