Hollywood(Spiritsman)4/21/13/–Italian Vodka Punzone has recently hit the market with three releases, Punzone Vodka, Punzone Originale and Punzone Lemoncino. Retail price for the Originale is $42.99, and $37.99 for the other two. Punzone which is Italian for ‘punch’ first surfaced in New York and New Jersey in July 2012, when entrepreneur Frank Guerrera brought the drink to the market. His vision in an industry dominated by the vodka giants, was to explore a niche market of organic Italian vodka, and early indications are very positive.
Guerrera formerly owned a mortgage business, but has now gone full throttle with Punzone after spending about six years perfecting the brand so that it could come to market. Numerous trips back to Italy were needed to source the right ingredients and respective areas, and now everything is in place.
Production of the drink takes place in Northern Bologna, the all important blood oranges come from a grove in Calabria, and the grapes come from Abruzzo, which is fifty miles east of Rome.
Punzone Vodka is distilled from organic-grown wheat from Italy, and is enhanced with water from the Italian Alps which helps ensure that no unnatural additives affect the consistency of the ultra-premium 80 proof drink.
Tasting notes indicate a rating of 91 from the Beverage Institute for this grassy and lemon tasting vodka that is distilled in a five column still.
Punzone Originale is a fusion of organic Sangiovese-grape sangria and natural blood orange essence sourced from orange groves in Southern Italy. The recipe comes handed down from the family and is a Ready-to-Drink beverage by itself. The red-version is an acquired taste, so we suggest trying it out for yourself at least once to see if the combination of ingredients suit your palate.
Punzone Lemoncino includes white sangria from organic Chardonnay grapes from the Abruzzo region and a natural Sicilian lemon essence. Like the Originale, it is also Ready-to-Drink, and is a lot milder than most lemoncillo infused drinks that can have a rather tart taste.
Taking on the big boy conglomerates is always a risky business in the liquor industry, And my only concern is that the price point may be too high for people who would pay these prices for the Grey Goose’s and Belvederes of this world. Punzone has a shot at making a name, but only time will tell.
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