Grappa, etc.

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Chris Buchanan
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Grappa, etc.

#1 Post by Chris Buchanan » January 12th, 2019, 7:51 pm

Does anyone else like this stuff, I did a quick search and saw a few positive references but no detailed discussion. Seems like 9 out of 10 people I talk to compare it to jet fuel. I find the concept and product fascinating, and also I'm wondering if anyone has good US west coast sources or producer recommendations. I found an online place shipping out of the Netherlands, but they shipped USPS and one of three bottles arrived broken. I got chewed out by the local post master, but I did get two pretty interesting bottles.

Cheers,
Chris

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#2 Post by Scott Tallman » January 12th, 2019, 8:05 pm

Drank quite a bit of it when visiting Italy in 2017. Hated the stuff, but kept trying as a lot of really good wineries we visited (unbeknownst to me) made some and figured worth trying since I enjoyed their wines.

Good luck with your search.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#3 Post by Mike Maguire » January 12th, 2019, 9:24 pm

We always pack a bottle with us when we travel.A shot in the morning and before bed takes care of any bug we come in contact with, works like a charm. [bye.gif]

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#4 Post by David K o l i n » January 12th, 2019, 10:00 pm

I love grappa and Marc (mostly de Bourgogne) I haven’t found any suppliers stateside, but I did like the grappa produced under the Aroujo label a number of years ago

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#5 Post by Chris Buchanan » January 13th, 2019, 7:22 pm

Scott, yeah discovered it in Italy when I was there way back on 2006 or 2007 I think. It’s definitely an acquired taste of sorts.

Haha, good idea Mike!

David- haven’t ever tried Marc and don’t know much about it. I presume it is the same/similar process? The words ‘de bourgone’ are almost always a good indicator for me (although some village wines perhaps not as much).

I’ve read a bit about the process for grappa and it has to be made from pomace with no additions. This requires steam distillation equipment to avoid burning the solid organic matter. The better ones I’ve had tend to have a yeasty aroma which reminds me of a bakery with fresh bread.

I did get one bottle made from moscato and one from barbera. I’m not sure how the process works with white wines, since pomace usually only contains alcohol from red wines fermented on skins. Thinking maybe the whites are skin fermented “orange wine” then the grappa is made, but that’s pure speculation? The moscato grappa has a definite aroma profile like the grape.

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#6 Post by Mike Maguire » January 14th, 2019, 5:26 am

David K o l i n wrote:
January 12th, 2019, 10:00 pm
I love grappa and Marc (mostly de Bourgogne) I haven’t found any suppliers stateside, but I did like the grappa produced under the Aroujo label a number of years ago
I had a few bottles of this when I was on the list, and it wasn’t too bad.

Just found one of the Araujo Grappa’s , Harvested 09/27/00, made from Cab Pomace, buried in my bourbon stash. [wow.gif]
Last edited by Mike Maguire on January 14th, 2019, 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#7 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 14th, 2019, 6:43 am

Is Marc more like grappa or more like armangnsc

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#8 Post by David K o l i n » January 14th, 2019, 7:55 am

More like grappa. Distilled from pomace as is grappa, but it is given some wood, so it's not as fiery. Fine de Bourgogne is made from pressed juice

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#9 Post by Gunnar L » January 15th, 2019, 7:51 am

Nice to finally see at thread about Grappa. I really love the stuff and have more than 100 different Grappas at home.

It was my wife who first got hooked after being served an unoaked San Felice (distilled by Nannoni) after a dinner at Il Campo in Siena in 2001. It took me a couple of years to get used to it, so to speak, but now I am also completely hooked.

Provided you like other spirits, like whisky or Cognac, I would be very surprised if you couldn't find a Grappa that you could enjoy. During the last couple of years I have converted a number of friends from Whisky to Grappa. It’s quite easy, like with wine you just need to know what to serve to whom. I struggle for words here since English isn’t my first language but in my humble opinion the diversity in flavors is greater in Grappa than in any other distilled spirit, from the unoaked and very aromatic Moscato or Gewürztraminer over the really hash and simple ones you sometimes get for free after dinner to the high-quality ones aged for decades in different types of wood. The last category can be almost Cognac-like but still with the distinct flavor of the grapes the pomace is made of.

You also need to remember that the distiller is very important since the wineries never (as far as I know anyway) makes the Grappa. They only supply the pomace and the distiller makes and (in most cases) ages the Grappa. Three Grappas made from the same Barolo pomace but distilled by different distillers, let’s say Berta, Marolo and Dellavalle, will taste distinctly different. I often serve my wife her Grappas blind and she can always nail her favorites, the ones made by Berta, Beccaris and Dellavalle. I have another Cognac-loving friend and he loves the aged Barolo-Grappas from Montanaro but have a hard time enjoying the Brunello-Grappas from Nannoni, which are among my favorites.

So, if you haven’t found any Grappa you like, don’t give up. There is something out there for (almost) everyone!
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#10 Post by Chris Buchanan » January 17th, 2019, 7:18 am

Thanks Gunnar!
Appreciate hearing all of the additional info about variety of Grappa.
The list of producers in your post is very helpful!
I have one bottle from Dellavalle (moscato) and one from Marolo (Barbera). First smaller production. Type grappa that I’ve had.

Cheers,
Chris

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#11 Post by Doug Schulman » January 17th, 2019, 9:25 am

I haven't had many, but the Grappas from Marolo have been my favorites by far. Their unaged Moscato Grappa is beautiful, with lots of varietal character. The age designated Barolo Grappas that they do can be very impressive in a completely different way. They develop a Cognac like sort of maturity and complexity.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#12 Post by Gunnar L » January 17th, 2019, 9:35 am

Hi Chris

Between those two, which one do you prefer?

I personally need my Moscato Grappas to be older and of high quality to be able to enjoy them. The Marolo Moscato 2007 is one of the few that I really like.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#13 Post by Gunnar L » January 17th, 2019, 9:42 am

Doug
Yes, Marolo is a high quality distiller and the prices reflect that. The same goes for the prestige bottlings from Berta.
In my opinion, and for my taste, Montanaro and Dellavalle, to name a few, offer almost the same quality for a lot less money.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#14 Post by Chris Buchanan » January 17th, 2019, 9:51 am

I like both quite a bit, but I’d say I prefer Marolo slightly as it is perhaps more delicate. I do enjoy the Moscato as it’s unlike any grappa I’ve ever had before.

I had a Nebbiolo on order that was broken in transit. Would like to get more, but haven’t heard back from the company regarding the breakage.

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#15 Post by Doug Schulman » January 18th, 2019, 9:20 am

Chris: Marolo is imported to the US, so you should be able to find them somewhere without dealing with international shipping.

Gunnar: thanks for the recommendations. I'm going to see if I can find those locally.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#16 Post by Chris Buchanan » January 18th, 2019, 5:16 pm

Thanks Doug and Gunnar!

Doug,
Please keep us updated on what you find imported from Gunnar’s list.

Cheers

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#17 Post by Gunnar L » February 15th, 2019, 6:53 am

Any updates? Has anyone tried something new since the last post?
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#18 Post by M.Kaplan » February 15th, 2019, 10:22 am

My soon to be son in law gave me a bottle of Nonino Grappa Picolit. At 50%abv, it requires a bit of a chill to enjoy at full strength. Delicious.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#19 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 15th, 2019, 12:08 pm

A grappa thread with no mention yet of Romano Levi? True they are expensive and that easy to source, but my word are they delicious. And the labels are a treat.

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#20 Post by David K o l i n » February 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 12:08 pm
A grappa thread with no mention yet of Romano Levi? True they are expensive and that easy to source, but my word are they delicious. And the labels are a treat.
They certainly are, but they are beyond expensive

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#21 Post by JDavisRoby » February 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm

Anyone make their own “grappa”?
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#22 Post by Greg Pierce » February 17th, 2019, 8:18 pm

Love grappa.

The best makers -- in my experience -- are Jacopo Poli, Berta, and Marolo. I think Berta's grappas are consistently the best, but they are pretty proud of their products ($$$$). I've had good ones from particular wineries -- I assume they outsourced the production, but sold them under their own labels.

I also remember two memorable visits to Otto -- the Batali restaurant in NYC. The first visit was a casual lunch at the bar where the barman was holding forth with a friend about the various infused grappas he had been making, and serving, from various large mason jars behind the bar at Otto. I asked him to tell me about them, and instead, he said "Tell you about them? You're going to drink them!" and proceeded to give me small pours of about 6 different infused grappas he was making. I remember discussing them, as well as his process of making them for about 45 minutes, while savoring the various results of his work. Fast forward a couple of years, and my girlfriend and I are visiting NYC and killing about 1.5 hours between dinner and a show at the Village Vanguard, and we decide to hit Otto for a drink. The placed is literally jam-packed, so I bull my way forward to the bar to get us some drinks. The same bartender that had previously served up his infused grappas is still there and happens to be the one to ask me for my order. I ask him what infused grappas he has and the guy's demeanor instantly changes from harried-bartender-in-the-weeds-with-multiple-entitled-douches-demanding-trendy-drinks to absolutely beaming and expounding on his current lineup. I order two, and he proceeds to pour me two 6ish ounce glasses of grappa. Both were awesome, but they left us a little less than at our best for the ballads being served up by the Paul Motian trio at the Village Vanguard.

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#23 Post by Gunnar L » February 18th, 2019, 12:39 am

David K o l i n wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 12:08 pm
A grappa thread with no mention yet of Romano Levi? True they are expensive and that easy to source, but my word are they delicious. And the labels are a treat.
They certainly are, but they are beyond expensive
Personally I have ony tasted Romano Levi's Grappas twice, once from a friend of a Friend who claimed that it was distilled by the old man himself and once (2015) at a restaurant in Trento where they said that the bottle was produced after the old man died. It simply wasn’t my type of Grappa. I wouldn’t say that it was bad as such but the style combined with the price asked has so far stopped me from buying.
I would really love to experience the magic of the Roberto Levi Grappas that people are talking about. So far I just haven’t.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#24 Post by Gunnar L » February 18th, 2019, 12:48 am

JDavisRoby wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm
Anyone make their own “grappa”?

Some do but I don’t think there are many. Personally I have only visted one such producer, Pojer & Sandri up in Trentino, but have read stories about others.
Someone once told me that Gaja also owns a local distillery but I don’t know if that is true or not.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#25 Post by Chris Buchanan » April 10th, 2019, 7:26 pm

JDavisRoby wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm
Anyone make their own “grappa”?
A dream of mine!

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#26 Post by Nola Palomar » April 10th, 2019, 8:04 pm

JDavisRoby wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm
Anyone make their own “grappa”?
I do. We use a still like this one only about 2 - 3 times the size. We use the sediment pumice left over from racking barrels (thus no white wine is really used). It goes into a stainless steel vat and when we are ready to run the still, we fill the alembic heat it up and that's pretty much it. You have to keep the water in the cooling chamber cool but it's not hard to make. In Spanish it is Orujo.
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Re: Grappa, etc.

#27 Post by JDavisRoby » April 10th, 2019, 8:15 pm

Nola Palomar wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 8:04 pm
JDavisRoby wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm
Anyone make their own “grappa”?
I do. We use a still like this one only about 2 - 3 times the size. We use the sediment pumice left over from racking barrels (thus no white wine is really used). It goes into a stainless steel vat and when we are ready to run the still, we fill the alembic heat it up and that's pretty much it. You have to keep the water in the cooling chamber cool but it's not hard to make. In Spanish it is Orujo.

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Do you sell your grappa?
Joshu@

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Re: Grappa, etc.

#28 Post by Nola Palomar » April 11th, 2019, 5:57 am

JDavisRoby wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 8:15 pm
Nola Palomar wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 8:04 pm
JDavisRoby wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm
Anyone make their own “grappa”?
I do. We use a still like this one only about 2 - 3 times the size. We use the sediment pumice left over from racking barrels (thus no white wine is really used). It goes into a stainless steel vat and when we are ready to run the still, we fill the alembic heat it up and that's pretty much it. You have to keep the water in the cooling chamber cool but it's not hard to make. In Spanish it is Orujo.

alembic.jpg
Do you sell your grappa?

I do, at the winery. My import license is for wine and beer. I never even thought of bringing it in to the US.
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