Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Grappa Tasting at Castello Banfi


I couldn't have been more delighted that the Grappa tour would take me back to Castello Banfi. I stayed at the castle with my daughter back in the spring of 2015 when we did a mother/daughter trip through Europe following her graduation from college.

Castello Banfi is located between the Orcia and Ombrone rivers in the southern part of Montalcino in Tuscany. All of the pomace used in the production of the four Grappas comes from wines made from grapes in the vineyards surrounding the castle. After a vineyard tour and wine tasting at the winery, our group headed back to the on-site restaurant for lunch followed by a Grappa tasting.

Banfi produces four different Grappas, one is made from a blend of grapes and the other three are made from Brunello di Montalcino, a type of Sangiovese and the most important grape variety in the region.

The Tasting:
All of these Grappas were double distilled in a continuous still and have 45% ABV.

Grappa del Castello - Made from a blend of different grapes, this is their entry level clear Grappa and it is designed to be the most approachable. It has intense fruity aromas combined with a light herbal note, though dry, its flavors give a suggestion of sweetness.

Grappa di Brunello - Clean and fresh with no bitterness, this clear Grappa has more of the classic Brunello aromas of violets, herbs, and ripe red cherry with a subtle flavor. This is designed to be the most traditional of the Grappas they produce.

Grappa di Brunello Torre - The pomace for this clear Grappa was sourced from the highest part of the property and the grapes had undergone a long maceration before fermentation during the wine making process. This Grappa was very floral with violet and rose aromas along with fresh herbs and red fruit notes, the flavors seemed more concentrated on the palate.

Poggio alle Mura Grappa di Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - This Grappa was the most unique of the four due to the 18 months that it spent aging in Slavonian oak casks that had previously been used to age Brunello wine. The grapes that composed this pomace were also sourced exclusively from the property's premium Poggio alle Mura vineyard. It was golden in color with pronounced aromas of dried fruits with honeysuckle and a hint of vanilla. It was soft and smooth, elegantly dry and finished with a lingering note of honey. This was my favorite of the tasting.

All of the Grappas listed here are highly recommended.

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