The Italian Bottega is better known for its wines and sparkling wines, but they also have many other products in production, such as Grappa and limoncello. Bottega has a history of more than 300 years and today they maintain four wineries in the Veneto region. Grappa is produced under the Alexander brand, founded in 1987. Alexander is sold quite widely in the world, although it is rarely sold in the Baltic countries. It is easiest and cheapest (about 12 € / 35 cl) to find it on car ferries sailing between Helsinki and Tallinn.
Alexander Prosecco is made from the Glera grape, a well-known raw material for Prosecco sparkling wine. Grappa, made from wine-making residues, is distilled in a three-step process with occasional changes in equipment and temperatures. Vacuum distillation is also used, which allows the use of lower temperatures, leaving more aromas in the distillate. Prior to bottling, the distillate has been matured in a steel tank for 6 months.
The nose is fruity and fresh, clearly reminiscent of Prosecco sparkling wine. The mouthfeel is soft and the viscosity is quite thick. The taste is quite sweet, which makes me think about how much sugar has been added to the distillate before bottling. The taste is very pleasant, aromatic and fresh, fruity, slightly almondy. In the aftertaste comes with a bit of pepper spiciness, but overall the drink is still very smooth. In cheapest grappas, the moonshine-like sharpness and aroma of a copper pan cannot be found in Alexander. Because of its sweetness and softness, it is very easy to sip neat and I don’t even want to mix it. Alexander is a very good entry level grappa and can be recommended also to Prosecco lovers. The first couple sips in a glass are heavenly good, but later a little too high sweetness level starts to annoy. I can imagine that the manufacturer has wanted to create a product that is at the same time very aromatic, but also easily approachable even for those for whom the traditional Grappa is too cruel.