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Centenary island

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)

Angelo of mercy

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.

TN: Teroldego white

[bottle]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)

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