Nestled at the foot of the Italian Alps and tucked between Switzerland and France, the Piedmont region of northern Italy is famous for its wines, most notably Barolo. So it comes as a sippable surprise to discover that Carbonadi (750 mL $80; 1 liter $90), one of the newest, smoothest, ultra-premium vodkas, originates from a small, family-owned distillery in this same region.
But then, considering that Piedmont’s nutrient-rich soil also produces some of Italy’s highest quality organic wheat, it is easy to see the influence of terroir on this crystalline spirit, especially when this wheat, which is blended with pristine Alpine water, is used to create the mash that is distilled to create Carbonadi.
However, it is its unique filtration process that gives Carbonadi its distinct, light crispness. As its name implies, after being distilled five times through activated charcoal, Carbonadi is micro-oxygenated and filtered through rare carbonados (commonly known as “black diamonds”), a micro-porous and extremely resilient form of natural diamond.
It is the extra-porous properties of carbonados that, during filtration, gives them the ability to extract impurities that conventional filtration methods cannot. The result is a pure, crystal clean, ultra-smooth vodka with an herbal and almost jewel-like finish. Bottled at a gentle 80 proof, it is best enjoyed chilled and straight up.