At 25 years old, Joseph Chavasse created a liqueur-distillery at les Echelles in the province of Mont Blanc. The mountains overlooking his birth place were a wonderful alpine garden where he could find the plants he needed to create the liqueurs he had invented. The names he gave them were tempting and evocative, such as Elixir d’Amour (Elixir of Love), Parfait Amour (Perfect Love), Amour sans fin (Endless Love), Eau d’Or (Golden Water), Absinthe Blanche (White Absinthe) and Crème Royale (Royal Cordial).
Inspired by aperitifs in the neighbouring Turin, Joseph Chavasse created a new vermouth with a recipe known to him alone. He set a wide variety of plants from the surrounding mountains to infuse in Savoyard white wine and added a selection of spices. Fully qualified as a liquorist he settled in Chambéry in 1830, where his daughter Marie Rosalie was born. He then put all his energy into making vermouth.
Son and grandson of lawyers from Chambéry, Louis-Ferdinand Dolin married Marie Rosalie Chavasse at 29 years old and became a vermouth maker. He gave his name to the company and the brand; where it is still used today.
When Louis-Ferdinand Dolin died in 1869. His wife took over the vermouth distillery and presented Dolin vermouth at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876 where it was awarded a gold medal. Many other awards were added to the medal table, including a silver medal at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900.
Charles and Joseph Sevez sold groceries and foodstuffs in Chambéry. They bought the vermouth distillery from the Dolin family in 1919 as there were no Dolin heirs to inherit the business. They kept the brand name and continued to pass on the expertise from past generations.
When he was released from captivity in 1945 after the Second World War, Pierre Sevez took over the company. In 1975 production moved to new premises in Chambéry-Bissy. In the same year, Pierre’s sons, Bernard and Jean Louis took over from him and developed the French and European markets.
17.5% ABV, 100% Ugni-Blanc, 17 wild herbs and spices, 25 grams of sugar per litre
Very pale crystalline robe, tinged with gold. Generous, full, intense nose of citrus peel, underscored by menthol and balsamic notes. Aromas of mountain plants linger on finish. Velvety texture with harmonious aromas of almond and fruit pit. Slightly bitter citrus base underlies and balances this elegant, lively vermouth with subtle persistence.
16% ABV, 100% Ugni-Blanc, 35 wild herbs and spices, 130 grams of sugar per litre
Brilliant amber robe with glints of copper. Very pleasant nose of fruit compote, prune and walnut, with a slightly grassy note tempered by the spicy notes of cinnamon, vanilla and Szechwan pepper. On the palate complex aromas of almond and fruit pit, citrus, pear and cinnamon, with notes of spice cake and tobacco, then violet, oregano and hyssop. A subtle base of bitterness underlies this rich bouquet.
16% ABV, 100% Ugni-Blanc, 33 wild herbs and spices, 130 grams of sugar per litre
Brilliant, limpid, fluid robe. Complex nose of mountain plants which have been rubbed to release their aromas, camphor then citrus. On palate, beautifully harmonious plant notes and a silky texture. Aromas of flowering broom and elderberry which give way to fresh almond and peach.