Viña Tacama (Tacama Vineyards) in Ica, Peru has always produced Piscos, though I have never really been that impressed with them in the past. They have never been terrible, but just average. On a recent visit to Ica I stopped by the Tacama distillery to see what’s new and taste a few of their new piscos and wines and I was impressed on both fronts.
They have a new line of wines, including a Malbec, which I think will be rather well received in Peru, though you probably won’t be able to find it elsewhere. I sampled several varieties of their Demonio de los Andes (Devil of The Andes) Pisco and was thoroughly impressed, particularly with the Puro made from the Albilla grape. What’s interesting about this grape is that is from the original Albilla vines brought by the Spanish more than a century ago and grown on the same plot of land. Though I don’t hear this often in Pisco, I’d like to think a little bit of the terrior comes through the taste, which is rather particular. Albilla is one of the least common Pisco grapes used. The flavors released taste and smell of pineapple, banana, and lime. This is one of the sweeter grapes around and in a blind taste test might even give the impression of a Chilean pisco.
*On a side note, the acholado version of this pisco was awarded with the “Prestige Trophy,” a worldwide recognition in France this year given by Les Citadelles du Vin, sponsored by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV).
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.