About Grappa

About Grappa
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

Pisoni Grappa Stravecchia
93 points
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.
Bonollo Grappa of Amarone Barrique
93 points
$70
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.
Alexander Grappa di Cabernet
92 points
$39.99
Clear color. Rustic aromas of hay, green tea, dried mango, dried lime peel, and tobacco with a velvety, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a medium-long marzipan wrapped cherries, icing sugar, dried lemon peel, and bee pollen finish. A terroir-driven grappa; sip after a good meal.
Awards: 2017 Best Grappa
92 points $39.99
Alexander Grappa Bianca
90 points
$37.99
Clear color. Confected aromas of green pear, tutti fruiti candies, banana marshmallow, guayabana, crisp raw asparagus, and sunflower seeds with a velvety, crisp, fruity light body and a warming, intriguing, medium-length dandelion, marjoram, chamomile tea, banana leaf, and ground peppercorns finish. A fruit-forward Grappa with a friendly nose and a palate reminiscent of the summer countryside.
90 points $37.99
Alexander Grappolo
88 points
$105
Clear color. Floral aromas and flavors of wildflowers, bosc pear, sweet honey, almond nougat, and wisteria with a satiny, bright, dry light body and a tingling, brisk dandelion greens, aniseed, tropical fruit, and ghee finish. A beautiful, perfumed grappa with graceful length.
Painted Stave Distilling Harvest Grappa
87 points
$25
Bright clear color. Lively, attractive, clean fruity inviting aromas of cracked pepper on watermelon rind, box of raisins, cedar plank, and rye flour sack with a soft, bright, dryish medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long suede, cucumber juice, honey cream, and nut oil finish. A mild, mellow grappa.
Pietro Gallo Estate Grappa Di Prosecco
86 points
$70
Silver color. Aromas of wool, parmesan rind, plantain peel, and charred cereals with a glycerous, vibrant, fruity light body and a silky, medium-length tangerine, lavender, jasmine, apple liqueur, and nickel finish. A crafty grappa with a bright and fruity center.
Pisoni Grappa Chardonnay
86 points
Bright clear color. Mild, earthy, floral oily vegetal aromas of dried grapes and peaches, oiled leather, pepper, and green peppercorn with a satiny, bright, off-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, refreshing, crisp powdered honey, cream, chalk, and fuel-like minerals finish. A clean, well balanced grappa.
Tremols Grappa
83 points
$12
Brilliant clear color. Aromas of banana leaf and marsh grasses with a supple, soft, bone-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, brisk bitter garlic scapes and tomatillo paper finish. A swift kickin’ grappa for caffe corretto.