About Grappa

Serve in a Copita
Pomace Brandy (Italian Grappa and French Marc are the best-known examples) is Brandy made from the pressed grape pulp, skins, and stems that remain after the grapes are crushed and pressed to extract most of the juice for wine. Pomace Brandies, which are usually minimally aged and seldom see wood, are an acquired taste. They often tend to be rather raw, although they can offer a fresh, fruity aroma of the type of grape used, a characteristic that is lost in regular oak-aged Brandy.

Italy produces a substantial amount of Grappa, both of the raw, firewater variety and the more elegant, artisanal efforts that are made from one designated grape type and frequently packaged in hand-blown bottles. Both types of Grappa can be unaged or aged for a few years in old casks that will tame the hard edge of the spirit without imparting much flavor or color. Marc from France is produced in all of the nations wine-producing regions, but is mostly consumed locally. Marc de gewürztraminer from Alsace is particularly noteworthy because it retains some of the distinctive perfumed nose and spicy character of the grape. California pomace Brandies from the United States are broadly in the Italian style and are usually called Grappas, even when they are made from non-Italian grape varieties. This is also true of the pomace Brandies from Canada.
Top Picks for Grappa
208408
La Trentina
Morbida Grappa
Pale golden yellow color. Rich aromas and flavors of peach cobbler and apricot cookie with a satiny, lively, fruity sweet medium body and a warming, subtle, very long finish with suggestions of jasmine tea, honeyed nuts, bubblegum dust, and pink pepper with light oak. An amazingly vibrant and delicious grappa of the highest order.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213077
Pisoni
Grappa Stravecchia
Clear gold color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of raisins bread pudding, cinnamon and brown spices, suede, and spicy jasmine chai with a soft, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long nougat, custard, and spiced fruits finish. A superbly flavorful and balanced grappa with an elegant style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213075
Bonollo
Grappa of Amarone Barrique
Clear bright golden amber color. Lively, attractive aromas of suede, dried stone fruits, chocolate nuts, and spicy rye bread and maple sap with a satiny, crisp, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long vanilla cola, straw mat, mint cream, and limestone finish. A spicy, earthy, well aged grappa that will conclude a meal nicely.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208606
Mill Street Distillery
Grappa
Pale golden yellow color. Lively aromas and flavors of spiced candied oranges and nuts, cherry bonbon, and cola float with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-length finish with nuances of spicy panettone, cedar, cinnamon baklava, and pepper. A wonderful wood aged grappa.
93 points $54.25
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208407
Le Giare
Gewürztraminer Grappa
Golden yellow color. Lively aromas and flavors of spice cake, fruit salad, suede, and peony with a silky, bright, off-dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish with elements of potpourri, cherry bubblegum, minerals, and cedar with light oak. A very tasty and stylish grappa.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208514
Moletto
Grappa di Moscato
Clear color. Bright aromas and flavors of raisin bread, figs, and dusty nuts with a lively, off-dry medium-to-full body and a delightful, long finish with elements of peppery spices, anise, mint, and potpourri. A delicious and vibrant grappa for all occasions.
92 points $32.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208405
Le Diciotto Lune
Stravecchia Grappa
Golden amber color. Attractive aromas and flavors of peach danish, chocolate creme brulee, sassafras, and cola with a bright, fruity sweet medium body and a delightful, medium-long finish with impressions of delicate brown spices, nougat, and pepper with moderate oak. A smooth, creamy, very well aged grappa.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208973
Samogon
Grappa
Clear color. Vibrant, interesting aromas and flavors of pineapple cake, tropical fruit custard, and honeyed nuts with a silky, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish displaying accents of vanilla nougat, exotic peppercorns, powdered sugar, and fuel-like minerals. A rather exotic and flavor-packed spirit that will make for intriguing cocktails.
91 points $19.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208406
Le Giare
Amarone Grappa
Deep amber color. Lively aromas and flavors of toasty nut brittle, safflower date bread, and suede with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-length finish with notes of praline, dried peach, minerals, and bubblegum spice. A tasty well aged grappa for mellow sipping.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208561
Marani
Chacha Saperavi
Clear color. Complex, spicy aromas of fruit cake, praline, and roasted nuts with a soft, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a breezy cream of wheat, malted vanilla honey milkshake, and papaya finish. A tasty, elegant grappa.
89 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab