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

Grappa Week – Day 3: Terre Antiche Grappa Amarone Riserva (42%, Roberto Dellavalle, 70 cl)

Grappa Week LogoWell this is a first. Starting a Master Quill week and really disliking the first two entries. I was hoping to show you that Grappa is a lot better now than it used to be, and the bad reputation is now false and far behind us. Where is this going? Since Amarone is such a stellar Wine, why not return to a, hopefully better, Amarone Grappa. Third time Lucky? By the way the picture is from Terre Antiche’s Grappa Moscato, but the reviewed Grappa Amarone looks pretty similar.

Terre Antiche Grappa AmaroneColor: Light sparkling gold.

Nose: Hay and dry grass. Like a good grappa should be. Warm haystack and oozes of summer. Wet cold tea leaves. Next the fruit. Hints of cherries and warm cherry compote. (not the sharp acidic smell, no, the soft and sweet part of the cherry smell). Citrus fruits, but like the cherries, not very acidic, but more the sweet and aromatic side of citrus fruits. Orange and tangerine. Nice balance and I like the overall smell. Compared to some other Grappa’s the smell gets more and more accessible. Hints of spicy wood. Lovely.

Taste: Yes it’s very sweet again! The taste matches the nose. Hay, grass, leafy and cherries are all over this Grappa as well, but not as much as the sugar is! It has a sugary sweetness you might remember from dissolving too many sugar cubes in your tea (when you were a kid). When the sugar film leaves your mouth, not a lot is left behind underneath the sweetness. Again a sort of Grappa Liqueur to make it more accessible and have a larger appeal to a wider public. Lots of the finer elements of the original Grappa are lost because it is drowned by sugar.

Easy to drink, but yet again lots of sugar. As a Liqueur it’s not even that bad this time. Better than the two previous Grappa’s in this Grappa Week, so we’re moving up. Although quaffable, I wouldn’t buy something like this. I’m very interested in Grappa and would like to have some top-notch stuff on my lectern. I do like the smell of this Amarone Grappa though, although nothing reminds me of Amarone at all. This sweet style is not something I’m looking for personally, and the amounts of added sugar is something, I guess, that is done to hide a lack in quality or make the product more interesting for lovers of Liqueurs. I think in this case, the latter is true, since this Grappa has a wonderful nose, so the quality is certainly there. Three rather inexpensive, and sweet Grappa’s down, four more to go…

Points: 69