Italy’s oldest distillery Nardini is launching a new range of grappas, Selezione Bortolo Nardini, aimed at the ultra-premium digestive market. Named after the distillery’s founder Bortolo Nardini, who established the family-owned brand in 1779, the new selection includes a white extrafina and three barrel-aged expressions at three, seven and 15 years old.
Nardini's classic Grappa Bianca is already one of Italy's best-selling premium grappas, and although produced differently to the classic range these new grappas have been described by spirits writer David Broom as ‘unmistakably Nardini’ and offering ‘a new dimension for grappa’.
The new grappas have been made with a blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Grigio de-stemmed grape pomaces (the skins, seeds and pulp that remains after grapes are pressed for winemaking) and sourced from local DOC wineries near to Nardini’s distillery in Italy’s north east.
This blend is crucial for good grappa distillation as the red wine grapes provide much of the flavour while the more lightly pressed white wine grapes add vital moisture. The pomaces have then been fermented and distilled using a combination of pot and column still techniques. At Nardini’s distilleries, some 22kg of pomace are needed to produce a single litre of grappa.
‘As Italy’s oldest distiller and the country’s leading premium grappa brand, we are obliged to innovate rather than stand still,’ said Antonio Nardini, Managing Director. ‘I am confident that we have set a new standard for grappa that will not only astonish many people, but lead to a greater appreciation for Italy’s national spirit amongst the most discerning drinkers in the world.’
The grappas are presented in 70cl cut-glass bottle designs, inspired by Nardini’s futuristic Fuksas-designed Bolle building in Bassano del Grappa, Veneto.
All three Riserva expressions age in oak barrels from a forest in Croatia that has been used by Nardini since it became the first-ever distiller to market aged grappa some 70 years ago.
‘Like the rest of the range, it does, I believe, offer a new dimension for grappa, one which stays true to its roots, but aligns it more closely with top-end wood-aged spirits – and as a result opens up the possibilities of new serves and occasions,’ Dave Broom concludes about the 15 year old grappa.
Selezione Bortolo Nardini will be available initially to the on-trade from Speciality Drinks Products at RRP £55-£125.