Monday, August 22, 2016
Italian Brandy: Villa Zarri 1991
K&L snagged a 24 year old, single barrel cask strength brandy from Villa Zarri in Northern Italy just outside of Bologna. This brandy is made in a style similar to Cognac - pot distilled, made from Ugni Blanc grapes and aged in French oak, and unlike many Cognacs, it has no additives.
Villa Zarri 1991, 24 yo, 59.7% abv ($100)
The nose has deep, earthy notes, like slightly wet dirt on a misty morning. The palate is bold and powerful.There's a touch of sweetness at the opening, followed by huge spice notes and an earthy finish that turns bitter and then strongly bitter.
It's really good, densely flavored stuff, but what you really need to do is add water. Just a few drops of water brings out big, sweet, fruit notes on the nose along with mulling spices. The palate opens with sweet fruit and the develops spice, while keeping those sweet notes in the background. The finish is spicy, earthy with nice fruit notes on the nose, though it retains the strongly bitter long finish.
This has tons going on and it balances it all very well. Cognac fans (who drink the additive free stuff, not the mass market caramel/sugar bombs) will love this stuff.