Are you ready for the big toast? On September 20th the Albilla strain is celebrated. Very long bunches, small berries and delicate aromas are part of its DNA. Tacama, with 12 hectares of this grape, makes wine and Pisco with this variety. Here, we will teach you how to enjoy it.
In Peru, “according the Jesuit missionary Bernabé Cobo (1653), there were Mollar, Albilla and Muscat grapes at the beginning of seventeenth century”, points out Karl Mendoza, agro-ecological wine researcher and consultant of Instituto Regional de Desarrollo - Costa (IRD) of Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM). When it comes to the oldest vineyard in the country, Tacama, the Albilla grapes are present since 1892 and still bearing fruits. It is a good sign.
By the way, we call this strain Albilla, but it is also known as Listán Blanco in Canary Island (Spain) and Palomino Fino in Andalucia (Spain). Mendoza indicates in a publication that is “an all-terrain variety in the diversity of soils in the Peruvian coast, where tolerates the heat strokes we suffer, frequently, before the harvest, that’s why it acquire a yellowish gold color”. Also, the Albilla grape has a soft aroma, it is very productive, but easy oxidation and low acidity.
This strain is use for wine —like since its arrival to Peru— and from the colonial time (eighteenth century) for Pisco. Furthermore, based on the Regulations of Pisco Designation of Origin, the Albilla is one of the four strains of Pisco aromatic grapes. Among this group, it is the most subtle, with elegant expression and light aromas that remembrance white flowers, peaches and gentle citric (mandarin and grapefruit), reveals Alexander Holender, Tacama’s brand ambassador.
The Piscos made 100% with Albilla are incredibly silky in mouth and with good permanence. In Tacama, for example, we have Demonio de los Andes Albilla, characterized by its fine aromas with notes of golden raisins, sugar cane, ripped banana and pear; and the Gran Demonio Albilla, perfect for cocktails, stands out for its aroma of lime, intense peach and a light touch of mango.
Now, if you are going to drink an Albilla Pisco alone, “the best way is doing it with a Pisco glass —or one small like the AFNOR— that allow retain the aromas for better appreciation” suggests Holender. A good tip to enjoy it in celebration of the Albilla Day will be serving it at room temperature at the end of a meal, as a digestif, or accompanied by a dessert. An ounce and a half is enough.
If we talk of wine made with Albilla, in Tacama reigns the Albilla D'Ica, of the Línea Aguja, a product with a slight gasification . Here, “we’ve interrupted the fermentation process, therefore the natural sugars of the grapes are maintained”, tells the brand ambassador. A suggestion: drink it cold, between 8 and 10 °C of temperature, because it will become spectacular on the palate. A flute glass, slightly long, like for sparkling wine, allows a better appreciation of the characteristic gasification.
When is the best moment to taste this wine? Of course celebrating the Day of Albilla strain or in a picnic, watching the sunset. For pairing, it goes very well with pies, tropical or citrus fruit muffins and apple pudding.
Let’s not waste the chance to taste a cocktail with Albilla. Alexander Holender, Tacama’s exclusive bartender, introduce us a great option with the Pisco of Gran Demonio line.
- 2 oz. Pisco Gran Demonio Albilla
- 0,5 oz. Grand Marnier
- 3 oz. fresh mandarin juice
- ¼ oz. lime juice
In a cocktail shaker with about six big cubes of ice, add all the ingredients and shake for some seconds. Serve in a short glass with a lot of crushed ice. Garnish with a segment of mandarin and fresh lemon balm.