Google Davantage d’Armagnac !

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 2, 2017


Davantage d’Armagnac !

We’ll try to go deeper into sub-regions today, Ténarèze, Bas-Armagnac and so on…

Laberdolive 12 yo ‘Terre-Bouc’ (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2016)

Laberdolive 12 yo ‘Terre-Bouc’ (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2016) Four stars From a well reputed house, and said to be hundred percent folle blanche. Most probably own-estate Armagnac, and from some very hard and compact clayey soil called ‘terre bouc’ (literally, he-goat earth). Terre-Bouc is not a location or a vineyard. Colour: dark gold. Nose: it’s rather rustic, in a very nice way, with notes of baked raisins and mineral/smoked caramel. Goes on with some brioche, linden flowers, orange blossom honey, and dried figs. All very fine! Mouth: really very good. 40% vol. isn’t much, but the spirit’s fat and big, really, with some kind of marmalade plus caramel sauce at first, then those figs, dried sliced bananas, some toasted bread, and more grassy elements in the back. Apple peel, green leaves… Finish: pretty long, appropriately rough and, yeah, rustic, with some orange zests in the aftertaste. Comments: some big young Armagnac, rather ‘black’ (as opposed to the floral and fruity ‘white’ ones – no, nothing to do with the spirits’ colours). SGP:561 - 85 points.

Domaine Lous Pibous 1994/2016 (53.7%, L'Encantada, Bas-Armagnac)

Domaine Lous Pibous 1994/2016 (53.7%, L'Encantada, Bas-Armagnac) Four stars L’Encantada are those very skilled independent Armagnac bottlers from the lovely little town of Vic-Fezensac in Gers. It is to be said that I’ve pretty much enjoyed all their previous bottlings, including those from Lous Pibous. Colour: rich amber. Nose: earthy caramel, coffee, botrytis (not from the grapes, no worries, I should have said ‘a feeling of botrytis’), peach jam and cake, wee rooty notes (gentian), caramelised pecans… This is pretty perfect. With water: incense, a touch of curry, and cedar wood. The cask speaking out. Mouth (neat): very warming and very spicy. Big oak extracts (cumin, cloves, menthol) and black raisins behind that. A lot of pipe tobacco too, caraway liqueur… Now these very extractive profiles don’t always swim well, let’s see… With water: we’re fine, battalions of oranges are saving the day. Phew. Finish: long and spicy. Chartreuse! Comments: absolutely excellent, it’s just that I enjoyed the younger and fresher Lous Pibous 2004 rather better last year. SGP:471 - 86 points.

Domaine de Charron 1989/2016 (46.8%, OB, Bas-Armagnac)

Domaine de Charron 1989/2016 (46.8%, OB, Bas-Armagnac) Four stars and a half Another small estate house from the Landes that I enjoy a lot. This is 100% baco this time. Colour: amber. Nose: starts with wee touches of cellulosic varnish, and goes on with superb notes of precious green tea, fern and moss, banana skin, mint-flavoured tea, a little fresh butter, and a handful of mushrooms. A truly superb nose in this well-aged Armagnac that could teach a thing or two to many a single malt of similar age. Mouth: rougher than expected, a tad spirity and, yet again, varnishy at first sipping, but the peach/banana combo just unfolds and leads to orange marmalade, black pepper, and the traditional prunes. Finish: long, with more oak, so not too far from the Lous Pibous at this point. But it remains a little brighter. Peppery liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: terrific Armagnac of perfect age. Oh and always loved the zebra on the label. SGP:561 - 88 points.

Older ones please…

Darroze 54 yo 1962/2016 ‘Château de Gaube’ (43%, Darroze, Unique Collection, Bas-Armagnac)

Darroze 54 yo 1962/2016 ‘Château de Gaube’ (43%, Darroze, Unique Collection, Bas-Armagnac) Four stars and a half This is baco from a small estate in Perquie, in the Landes, where they use traditional column stills (but contrarily to very high and sometimes multiple columns that are used in other parts of the world and that produce 90 or 95% vol. quasi-neutral alcohol, these Armagnac stills usually don’t go over 55 to 58% vol. In this very case, that’s only 52% vol.) Colour: gold. This one hasn’t seen new oak for long, and was probably stored in large casks – which is better, as they’re also finding out in the wine world these days – yes digressing again.) Nose: very fresh, rather light, with notes of broom, a little old copper, then quince jelly on a small brioche, thyme honey, ripe pomegranate, and lastly, more blond tobacco and the smallest bit of leather. It is the freshness that’s very impressive here, this is time-driven, not wood-driven spirit. Mouth: rather delicate indeed, with an oak that was totally controlled, many herbal teas, rather dry fruits (apricots and quinces), some kind of plum-flavoured pipe tobacco (they do that with cherries, I guess you can do the same with plums!) and only the faintest amounts of oak oils and spices. Miraculous. Finish: medium, very fresh, rather more tertiary. Overripe apples, and Chinese spices and liqueurs. Comments: this at 50%! SGP:651 - 89 points.

Down one year please, and we’re done… Oh and please make it a Ténarèze!

Domaine d’Aurensan 1961 (41.7%, OB, Armagnac, Ténarèze, cask #64, 150 litres, +/-2016?)

Domaine d’Aurensan 1961 (41.7%, OB, Armagnac, Ténarèze, cask #64, 150 litres, +/-2016?) Four stars and a half Cask strength Ténérèze from a small estate (5ha) where they grow various grape varieties. Ténarèze is sometimes said to the fiercest of the three main regions, but just between us, I don’t think I could easily recognise them when trying them blind. Colour: brown amber. Nose: this one’s much more on chocolate, prunes, coffee, and even toffee, and should this be whisky, it would be a Glendronach or something. Crystallised oranges, black raisins (Smyrna), black Russian tea, more chocolate… Mouth: really rich, with more of those big black raisins, more prunes, black honey, some rancio, and even an oloroso-like character. Beyond this rather massive front, we’ve got many tiny herbs and spices, cloves, chicory, caraway, poppy seeds… This is really perfect. Finish: long, unexpectedly fresh and well-balanced (the maker’s art), rather on oranges, but with walnuts and cigars in the aftertaste. Comments: the Darroze was subtler and lighter, this one’s more potent, and ‘darker’. In my book, they are of very equivalent qualities. SGP:652 - 89 points.

Very happy about this little session. Drink old Armagnacs, they’ll make you speak French! Allez, à la prochaine…

More tasting notes Check the index of all Armagnacs I've tasted so far






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