Fratelli Brunello Grappa Casetta
This Grappa was provided to me as a Tasting Panel member, coordinated by StudioCru. Sincere thanks to editor Davide Cocco and Fratelli Brunello for the opportunity to participate.
Let’s begin with an image upgrade:
Then -> Grappa-drinking elderly men scoop up wormy cheese with crusts of bread.
Now -> Fashionable under 40-somethings sample grappe in trendy cafes and grappa bars.
Though my grandfather wouldn’t believe it, it’s true: young food and wine lovers are discovering the pleasures of artisan made grappa distilled by quality minded producers.
One producer of fine grappa which you’ll want to keep on your radar is Fratelli Brunello. Since 1840, four generations of family have put their hands to business at Fratelli Brunello, Italy’s oldest artisan distillery. Located in Italy’s Veneto, Fratelli Brunello specializes in fine distillations of select pomace from authentic and rare grape varieties.
Legally protected by European Union decree, grappa is a distilled spirit product exclusive to Italy made from the fermented pomace of grapes which must themselves be a product of Italy.
I appreciate care and attention to detail when I find it: the Fratelli Brunello Grappa Casetta for this Panel Tasting arrived to me packaged in a handsomely designed box printed with colorful reds and greys inside and out. The package included two ANAG (Associazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Grappa / National Association of Grappa Tasters) certified tulip shaped glasses perfectly suited to tasting grappa.
Trouble was taken to provide the Tasting Panel with good information about optimal tasting conditions which I followed exactly. I must point out that the guidance was not restrictive at all and allowed great latitude for my personal preferences.
Fratelli Brunello Grappa Casetta is made from the pomace of Casetta aka “foja tonda”, a varietal that in the mid-late 1900’s, had nearly disappeared, in fact. Still rare today, Casetta is lovingly kept alive by a few stout hearted, artisan growers in northeastern Italy.
Tasting Notes / Impressions:
Colorless and crystalline clear, like looking into a flawless white diamond. Exquisite forest wood, wild berry and almond on a nose of delicately etched intensity, offering subtle hints of grass and ginseng. Flavors of raisin, red plum and berry combine with sensual liquidity on the tongue for an intimately ethereal taste / touch experience. Alcohol remains in constant balance with other components throughout, never getting too hot or overpowering. A fresh, persistent finish with plenty of flavor and inner mouth aroma.
Food Pairing Suggestions:
Grappa, of course, is a wonderful spirit to enjoy without food, after a good meal or while relaxing in a moment of meditation.
But, grappa is also delicious with accompaniments: try Fratelli Brunello Grappa Casetta with medium aged cheeses – I liked a mild French blue and Italian Taleggio – as well as savory goodies like thin-sliced cured salmon or caviar on toast.
This grappa also pairs nicely with fine dark chocolate and confections that are not overly sweet.