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German Grappa? Yes, There Is Such A Thing.

tresterGermany may not be regarded as highly as other countries when it comes to wine making which is a bit of a shame. But not only is there quite a diverse range of wine styles and regions in this country; Germany also has a long tradition of distilling wine, and there are a lot of distillers who also produce the equivalent of Italian Grappa or French marc.

The traditional name for this spirit is Trester which simply means pomace. But today some distillers also use Marc.

Trester brandy production in Germany is rather low key. Usually it is made by fruit eau de vie distillers who are located in wine regions to widen their product range. The great number of grape varieties grown in German vineyards also reflects in the marcs but there are also undisclosed or mixed grape spirits.

You can find tresters from all German wine regions. Currently I have two bottles from the Mosel and Nahe regions in Rheinland-Pfalz on my shelf:

1965 Vintage “Feinster Moselwein-Trester”, Josef Bölinger, Maring

Undisclosed grape – ABV: “40 to 42%”

My Tasting Notes:

Colour: Very pale straw
Nose: Fresh apples, whiffs of a musty wine cellar, lemon zest, hints of violets.
Palate: Sultanas, apples and lemon zest again, poached peach, hints of vanilla and cardamom.
Finish: Long, fruity and slightly musty.
Overall: The flavours and aromas are quite gentle, but there is quite a bit of complexity in this spirit. A very pleasant drinking experience. The colour hints to a short period of cask ageing.

Rating: 84/100

Marc vom Gelben Muskateller (L08), Korrell Johanneshof, Bad Kreuznach

“Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains” – ABV: 40%

My Tasting Notes:

Colour: Clear
Nose: Peach, apricot, hints of lemon, mixed flowers in a vase.
Palate: Peach, hints of pineapple, bergamote, violets and rose water.
Finish: Long, floral and fruity.
Overall: This isn’t one for everyone. The floral notes of the moscatel grape dominate nose and palate. If you take your time to tune into this unusual marc, you will find a lot of secondary aromas.

Rating: 87/100

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