Giovi Acquavite di Fichidindia dell’Etna (Sicily) – Gorgeous, sweet honeysuckle and spiced pear over oatmeal. Good balance. (2/07)
Aquileia “Centenario” Grappa “Gran Riserva” (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Oak-aged, and thus light brown, with enticing crushed flowers and a very elegant aroma. The wood smoothes things over to such an extent that I realize I prefer the more raw but more exciting clear form of this spirit. (10/07)
Gaja Grappa di Barbaresco (Piedmont) – Extremely elegant and smooth, which is (to my mind) a dangerous thing for a grappa; complexity must be there in force when the edges of this otherwise fiery elixir are shorn. There’s a surplus of floral and spice aromas but a general absence of a definitive foundation, to the extent that it’s highly reminiscent of some of the more internationalized Langhe blends from this house. In the end, elegance remains its primary quality.
Bertagnolli Grappa di Teroldego (Trentino) – Strikingly aromatic; a full chorus of floral and fruit notes with deep, chewy basso profundo beneath and lilting counterpoints atop. Delicious. (1/07)