Review of Grappas from the Collezione Marolo
Grappa Marolo is an artisanal grappa distillery built in 1977 in Alba in Northern Italy that focuses on producing high quality grappa from different native grapes and even single vineyards.
Learn more at Grappa Marolo Distillery Profile:
Review of Marolo’s Grappas
Marolo Grappa di Moscato
This Grappa made from Moscato d’Asti’s pomaces and aged in stainless steel tank (no oak) is transparent and clear in color. It is extremely fragrant, very clean and fruity to its aromatic profile.
Bright notes of pear and fresh apricot dominate the aroma together with delightful yet very pungent floral notes of elderflower and lily. It is vibrant to smell at, like a walk in a blossoming orchard as it comes with subtle freshly-cu grass notes as well.
The eau-de-vie feels extremely smooth. So smooth it is really surprising so for a grappa!
It is relatively dry, but a touch of sweetness makes it very well balanced, helped by an oily texture.
While your taste buds are busy enjoying the smoothness of the texture, the grappa delivers all the exuberance we expect from the Moscato grapes, immensely yet elegantly concentrated in this spirit. Bursting flavors of apricot jam, ripe lemon liqueur (like a limoncello), jammy lily, pear eau-de-vie and touches of earthiness providing a welcome balancing savory tone in this world of exuberant fruitiness. Sweet and soft finish on pear lollies notes. The warming effect of the alcohol is well contained here to the finish, by the super-smooth texture.
Overall: This Grappa strikingly tastes like fresh Moscato grapes.
Marolo Grappa di Moscato ‘Dopo’ Aged 5 Years
This Moscato grappa was aged 5 years in wine barrels previously used to age passito wines from the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, a world-famous area for making sweet dessert Muscat wines.
If I’m not mistaking, this grappa is called Après on certain markets, the word being the French for ‘after’, or for dopo in Italian.
It comes in a delicate and bright gold yellow color showing it was aged in oak as opposed to the white Muscat grappa above.
The nose is powerful and very fragrant, throwing elegant notes of honey and apricot blossoms. Fresh fig, hints of cinnamon and other sweet spices. The aromatic profile somewhat reminds of a varied fresh fruit tart, gently caramelized like a tarte tatin, and spread with the 5 spices mix. Salivating and very elegant.
The palate strikes by its utter smoothness, combined with a salty feel.
It is so soft on your tongue you don’t have the impression to have put a strong spirit in your mouth. This leaves your taste buds all the freedom to enjoy the depth of fruity and spicy flavors coming through: white pepper, sweet spices, cooked pear and peaches, elderflower and acacia honey. It’s charming and deep an experience.
The delicate satly feel coming through from the mid-palate on, combined with a velvety feel from soft and discrete tannins, are an outstanding feature providing a rare sensation of slight savoriness in a great expression of finesse.
Overall: An outstanding Moscato grappa with extreme refinement and great concentration, all about elegance and finesse yet with a strong aromatic expression. To try!
Marolo Grappa di Barolo
This grappa is made from pomace of Nebbiolo grapes from the Barolo wine area of Northern Italy’s Piedmont. After distillation, the spirit was aged for 4 years in French oak barriques (60 gallons) that had been previously used to age Sicilian Marsala wine.
It comes in a bright and elegant straw color gently infused to the initially-white grappa by the oak ageing.
The nose is pungently aromatic, throwing intense vinous notes of sandal wood and herbal tea. A sense of elegant fruitiness is brought in by subtle sweet notes of apricot jam, honeysuckle, and citrus peel, kumquat. Add touches of honey and wax for a powerful yet complex smell.
The palate first feels fairly sweet and luscious, with a soft oily body and texture. That’s before the power of alcohol kicks in and delivers intense flavors of rich honey with floral characters, and a wealth of ripe citrus notes, before a finish dominated by smoky oaky tones.
Overall: A very pungent and flavorsome grappa, filled with a wealth of concentrated flavors, fine and elegant yet delivering plenty of power and intensity.
Marolo 12-Year-Old Grappa di Barolo
This grappa is made from pomace of Nebbiolo grapes from the Barolo wine area of Northern Italy’s Piedmont. After distillation, the spirit was aged for 4 years in French oak barrels.
It comes in a rather intense amber gold color with oranges hues, not dissimilar to that of and aged whisky, showing it’s been aged for many years in oak.
The nose is intense and refined, primarily dominated by deep notes of oak, sweet spices and dried fruits. Dried figs and raisins, date liqueur aromas come with subtle vanilla, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon spices. Touches of earthiness, truffle and mushrooms add depth and complexity. Fine and elegant to smell at, although all with the strong power of alcohol too.
The palate is utterly smooth and rounded by a soft and oily texture, perfected by delicate silky phenolics. The grappa delivers generous oaky caramel flavors complemented by a heap of sweet spices. Flavors are mainly secondary and tertiary, those of a long ageing in oak more than fruity ones from the grapes the grappa originated from. Hints of floral characters, like elderflower, and touches of citrus peel are perceptible and bring some fruity freshness to the whole.
Overall: this aged grappa delivers a feel that is not dissimilar to one from an old Cognac, generous, deep and complex, fine to start with and refined by a long ageing in oak. Yet, there is more flavor power and intensity here, that comes with more pungent and expressive notes, and a burst of soli alcoholic strength too.