Grappa di Barbera Selezione di Ciliegio
Grappa di Barbera Selezione di Ciliegio, NAS, 45 %
Today I want to tell you about a wonderful grappe I recently had the opportunity to taste.
The Grappa di Barbera Selezione di Ciliegio is made from 100% Barbera grapes. It has matured in a solera system, matured in barrique casks made of cherry wood (yes, that’s right, I mean cherry, not sherry).
The producer is Distilleria Beccaris, a small family owned business near Asti in Piemonte, Italy. The distillery has a cool backstory:
"In 1951 its founder Elio Beccaris decided to start its own firm but he did not know whether it had to be a distillery, a winery or a vinegar factory. So he made his new born son Carlo decide by putting three slips of paper with the three alternatives in a hat and letting him take one, the ultimate decision should be taken by his innocent and unaware hand and it proved to be the lucky one."
Perhaps I should say a few words about grappa before I move on to the actual tasting notes. Grappa is made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems (i.e. the pomace or marc) left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes. Grappa is a protected name in the European Union. To be called grappa, the following criteria must be met:
Produced in Italy, or in the Italian part of Switzerland, or in San Marino
Produced from pomace / marc
Fermentation and distillation must occur on the pomace / marc—no added water
Here is a nice video explaining the production process:
You can buy the Grappa di Barbera Selezione di Ciliegio in Norway at NOK 418.80 for a 50 cl bottle (10063502).
Nose: Definitely grapes right off the bat. Red berries and deep earthy notes. Tobacco, leather and mixed spices. Warm. A touch of vanilla.
Taste: Full bodied with a spicy and rich mouthfeel. Well balanced, and the palate perfectly mirrors the nose. There is complete coherence here.
Finish: Medium long finish. The red berries are coming more to the forefront now - not just fresh berries but also thick, sticky jam. Apricots and figs soaked in PX sherry. Slightly astringent.
Comment: I would say this is a grappa for whisky lovers.