This isn’t actually the first time pisco has been popular Stateside: During the Gold Rush, pisco was the drink of San Francisco. In an effort to revive local interest, San Francisco bartender Duggan McDonnell and sommelier Walter Moore worked together to develop their own pisco, Campo de Encanto. Launched in 2010, it’s now available nationally. Grand & Noble is their flagship bottling, a blend of the earthy quebranta and mollar varieties blended with the more floral torontel, moscatel and italia, redolent of plums, almonds and thyme, with faint honeysuckle sweetness. For their Single Vineyard series, they feature single-variety piscos: Quebranta shows off the lush, heady side of the variety, with plenty of pistachio, fig and nougat flavor; the Moscatel, in contrast, is so light it feels nearly effervescent, with violet, rose and hibiscus notes grounded by herbal flavors. Where the Grand & Noble makes a great pisco sour, sip the Single Vineyards straight.
Reviewed in W&S February 2014.