Grappa Week – Day 5: Marolo Moscato (42%, 70 cl, 2005)

Grappa Week LogoAfter the Villa Isa Moscato which showed us what a Moscato Grappa is, I still feel it can be done better. The Villa Isa is a very accessible Grappa made from Moscato grapes. It’s friendly, fruity and easily drinkable. Today’s Marolo is a Grappa company with quite a reputation, so lets see if this Marolo can beat the Villa Isa (as if it were a competition).

Marolo is all about Paolo Marolo and his successor, and son, Lorenzo. Paulo started in 1977 because he wanted to turn the rustic product into art! Anybody still wondering if Paolo is Italian?

Grappa Moscato MaroloColor: Colorless.

Nose: Hay and dry grass. But not so heavy and over the top. Soft. Small hints of fresh-cut grass or the smell you get when pruning a tree. More sappy and “wet”. From the start some more nice fruit, in part citrussy. Lemon (not lime). This is a more toned down version and cleaner, since this wasn’t aged in oak. Slow and laid back. No hurry, we’ll get there. Besides some spiciness, there is a vegetal and powdery note as well, which seems a very watered down mixture of lavas, licorice and toffee. When I nose it with some more vigour, the Moscato grape variety pops out in a dry and dusty way.

Taste: Fruity and sugary. Sugar water. Not thick, syrupy, fruity and heavy on the Moscato as I expected. In fact this matches the nose better. It is again laid back in style, soft and toned down. Very young, clean and clear, just like the look of the Grappa. In the background there is a more heavy note, something like diluted burnt caramel. Mixing with the heavy note, is a short stint of fruity acidity quickly overtaken by spice (white pepper, thyme and maybe some others). Lovely fruity finish and the more time passes after swallowing the better the finish gets, (it gets more spicier). Of course, when you wait too long, its gone. Making it the right moment for another sip.

A very quiet and elegant Moscato. It has its sweetness and in part it even is sugary. But this time, it’s all right. Easily drinkable and it seems to be the right distillate for some good introspection. I like the Marolo better than the Villa Isa, but they are also quite different from each other. One a bit loud and fruity, the other more introvert. One with ageing in wood the other young and clean. Even though the Marolo is also quite accessible, it still is a Grappa you have to get to know, to get the most out of it.

Points: 83

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Grappa Week – Day 4: Villa Isa Grappa Moscato (42%, Roberto Dellavalle, 700 ml)

Grappa Week LogoNext up another Grappa by Roberto Dellavalle, but this one is from his Villa Isa range of Grappa’s. The range consists of single-vine varieties from the Piedmont, obtained through the distillation of fresh Marcs. This Moscato is an oak aged version but there is also a clear version that wasn’t aged in oak. Barbera and Nebbiolo da Barolo also exist in an 18 month oak aged version within the Villa Isa range.

Villa Isa Grappa MoscatoMoscato is a sweet grape with a very recognizable aroma, both in smell and taste. It is one of the oldest and widely planted white grape varieties in Italy. A well-known Wine made with this grape variety for instance is Moscato d’Asti. Lots of variants of this grape are planted all over the world. Unlike many grape varieties used for Wines, the Moscato grape variety is very nice to eat too.

Color: Light gold

Nose: Toned down hay note, fatty grass and candy and Moscato sweetness and above all, Moscato aroma’s abundant. Old wooden storage house. Very likeable. Nice elegant and fruity nose with typical muscat grapes and peach. Very likeable indeed. Small hints of lavas, flowers and a tiny backbone of oak.

Taste: Fruity sweet with toffee, but also a little winey. Muscat or Gewürztraminer. Definitely not sweetened with heaps of sugar, although a little bit has probably been added. Here the Grappa is aided with a grape variety that by itself is sweet and this kind of sweetness comes across as more integrated and less sugary sweet which overpowers everything. Not very deep or complex, but very nice and easily drinkable.

If you want to introduce people to Grappa, don’t choose a Grappa that has been extra sweetened with (heaps) of sugar, although I do understand that information is hard to come by. Let them try a Grappa di Moscato. The first two Grappa’s I reviewed earlier in this Grappa Week were lesser known brands, and hardly any information can be found on the internet at all. Maybe only on Italian websites? Roberto Dellavalle though, is no stranger to the internet.

Points: 73

Stormhoek Moscato 2013

And here is another wine favoured by my wife and my mother! Again a white one, but this time without bubbles but a lot sweeter. Master Quill already reviewed a white wine from the Western Cape region of South Africa. I have the feeling there is quite a lot of marketing going one here, since the label states as with the best of cosmetics: London Cape Town New York. Wow! The wine has the following enlightened text on the back label: Be Moved. Love. Encourage and Excite. Be enthusiastic. Motivate. Change the World or go Home…

Stormhoek can be found on the internet, but also on Facebook and Twitter.

Color: Ultra light white wine.

Nose: Sweet, artificial fruity sweet. Lots of peaches and apricots. Slightest hint of acidity. lemons. Lemonade. Very very fruity (and sweet-smelling).

Taste: Very sweet and really a peach drink. It’s so sweet and fruity I can hardly notice it is made with grapes. Funny that the back label stresses that it ís made with grapes, and tastes of grapes. I have drank wine made with muscat grapes before, but never so fruity as this one is. Deep down there is some acidity that very much resembles Vitamin C.

Going by the nose and the taste I would almost call this a children’s wine. Still this summer wine does have 8.5% ABV, so nevertheless it isn’t suitable for children. Recommended by my mother and my wife. I will recommend this a s a compote! Definitely designed for a young public (read women), hence the marketing.

Points: 75