Have you tried Grappa? Grappa is a grape-based brandy from Italy in which the grapes skins, stalks and seeds are distilled. This is an acquired taste, some people find it a bit potent and strong with thick tastes of “green grass” and other non-juicy flavorings. In many ways Grappa allows full use of the grape after wine has been created, which was the original intent but since has become a commercial product and, in many ways, an art form.
Now, Fantinel’s winery has produced a gold quality grappa which has begun to win awards. How good is it? Stay tuned, as Fantinel has been kind enough to sponsor our upcoming episodes of Common Man Cocktails! Read on for full press release.
Suprema Grappa Refosco and Tocai Win Top
Honors at International Spirits Contest
New York, NY, March 25, 2009 – The Suprema Grappa line, a new venture by the notable Fantinel winery, scored high at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The Suprema Grappa Refosco earned the elusive Double Gold Medal, while the Suprema Grappa Tocai took home the Gold Medal at this year’s San Francisco International Spirits Competition held on March 22nd at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. Both products, made in Friuli, Italy, are imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates (www.domaineselect.com).
“We are thrilled that the Suprema Grappa Refosco and Tocai scored so well at this very important competition,” said Marco Fantinel, President of Fantinel (www.fantinel.com). “The scores demonstrate the top quality that goes into the bottle and we are excited to be involved with such a great product.” The Grappas were revered by a number of renowned spirits authorities including Anthony Dias Blue, F. Paul Pacult, Dale DeGroff, Sean Ludford, Jordan McKay, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Robert Ploktin, Jack Robertiello and David Wondrich.
Suprema Grappa Refosco and Tocai both have a suggested retail price of $65. The Suprema Grappa Tocai (50% ABV) is made of signature Friulian grapes with an aromatic nose of apple and banana all balanced with a bright acidity. The Suprema Grappa Refosco (41% ABV) has a softer mouth-feel with similar fruity notes, an extremely long finish and is distilled from the native red Refosco grape. The flavor profiles, heightened alcohol levels and elegance of these grappas have elevated their use as traditional digestifs to useful and delicious cocktail ingredients. The Suprema Sour, created at the acclaimed cocktail bar Louis 649, is just one example of the spirits’ versatility.
The Suprema Sour by Gianfranco Verga (Louis 649)
1.5 oz Fantinel Grappa Tocai
1 oz Simple Syrup
.75 oz Lemon juice
1 small white egg
Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake with ice vigorously. Add ice, shake again and strain into a coup/snifter/brandy glass. Garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters.
About Suprema Grappa:
After years of research, the Fantinel family launched the Suprema Grappa line to embody the pinnacle of Friulian grappa and Italian style. Premium estate Picolit, Ramandolo Tocai and Refosco are distilled at the family facility in the heart of Friuli Grave. These varieties were selected to represent the best of Friulian viticulture. Suprema Grappa is packaged to reflect the family’s commitment to quality and design.
About the San Francisco World Spirits Competition
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the first comprehensive, international spirits judging ever held in the United States on an annual basis. Founded in 2000 by Anthony Dias Blue, the founder and editor in chief of Patterson’s The Tasting Panel and Carol Siebert, the Managing Director of the San Francisco Wine Competition, the Spirits Competition continues to grow each year in entrants as well as stature and integrity within the industry.