Pisco is a wine brandy. Specifically, pisco is a young wine brandy: it is made by fermenting grape juice into wine and - as soon as all the sugar in the juice has been converted into alcohol - distilling this young wine to obtain the pisco.

Unlike cognac, which is distilled twice, pisco is made from a single distillation, which is why it preserves a lot more of the wine and grape flavours than cognac. Also, unlike cognac, peruvian pisco is not laid to rest in wooden barrels and does not absorb any flavours from its container. It remains a clear drink and is consumed as such.

As a result, good pisco is much more "malleable" than other types of grape brandy. The range of tasting notes you achieve with a good wine are much more available with pisco than with other grape brandies.
   When you distill the young wine, if you do everything properly and systematically, you can really capture its essence. Then, with the assemblage (which is the process of combining different varietals in an "acholado"), you can really get creative and form new perfumes and flavours out of the different varietals, much as you would create a perfume by combining different essences.

The quality of a perfume lies in the ability to create something that is more than the sum of its parts. The same happens with a properly assembled acholado. More on the latter in another post...

In the meantime...  Salud!