Grappa can have numerous fragrances, ranging from the most delicate and floral to the complex and rich. To learn to read inside a glass it is important to be able to recognise at least a few, so that tasting becomes a stimulating and conscious experience.
This group of fragrances is very large, because it can vary from white flowers to red flowers and even the intense expressions of tropical flowers. For example, there are the wonderful fragrances of an aromatic Grappa made with muscat marc, so rich and delicate in its fragrances of white flowers to recall the blossoming in spring. But in Grappas one can also find fragrances of lilac, lily of the valley and roses. These are all very recognisable fragrances that give the distillate a unique and marvellous goodness.
If the group of floral fragrances is very large, the fruity fragrances may even be more present. Above all, in new and aromatic Grappas there will be splendid notes of apple, peach, strawberry and anything else that we can recognise. If we bear in mind that Grappa is the marc distillate most rich in fragrances, we will realise how many essences can be contained in a glass of Grappa. Therefore we will also find fragrances of dried fruit and apricots, and even discover notes of exotic fruits such as banana or pineapple, present in Grappas aged for a long time in wooden barrels.
Vegetable and herb fragrances
This group of fragrances is very particular and not always easy to recognise. The smell of freshly cut grass or aromatic herbs comes directly from the marc. They are easily found in a Grappa obtained from cabernet or merlot marc. Given the particular characteristics of the group of fragrances, they can be readily recognised once they are thoroughly remembered.
Fragrances with very many shades are present above all in the more developed Grappas, i.e. in those aged in wooden barrels. Everyone knows the sweetness of vanilla or cinnamon, also called sweet spices. In fact, the oxidising transformation occurring in the barrels favours the development of these interesting notes, releasing the classic vanilla aroma.
This is not an actual category. There are very different and extremely pleasant Grappa fragrances not covered by the common classifications. A Grappa aged for a long time in wooden barrels can have notes of tobacco leaf, but also cocoa and even liquorice. But at the same time there is the ethereal fragrance of the finest spirit, approaching the green shoots of geranium, and iodised and medicinal notes.