Armagnac, as some locals will describe it to visitors is the oldest and the youngest spirit in France. Oldest because it was first distilled in the middle of the 15th century and youngest because the Armagnacaise are still arguing over how to distil it. Armagnac comes as a welcome contrast to the relative stagnation in Cognac. Read More »
A top quality VSOP armaganc from Baron de Sigognac, this is from the Bas Armagnac region and has spent six months in new casks, followed by seven years in old oak casks, meaning that technically it could qualify as an XO under the current rules.
An 8 year old VSOP(!) Bas Armagnac made, very unusually, entirely from the once ubiquitous but now sadly rare Folle Blanche grape, which makes delightfully elegant spirit. They're a funny lot, the French. If this was a Cognac they could call it an XO (minimum requirement 6yo ageing).
Les Grands Assemblages is an age-statement range of Bas Armagnacs bottled at 43%, serving as a great introduction to the work of master bottlers Darroze, who have previously only released single estate vintage armagnacs at cask strength. This 8 year old bottling, although older than most XO cognacs, really lets the spirit sing, with plenty of vibrant stone and berry fruit flavours.
A 1988 vintage Bas Armagnac from Clos Martin. A rare example of Armagnac distilled entirely from Folle Blanche grapes, this is made in small stills. These produce a spirit at 52%, rather than into the 60s, as most other houses in the region do. The result is an Armagnac packed with aromas which is also rich and earthy.
A boisterous 12 year old Bas Armagnac blended and bottled by the incomparable Darroze as part of their Grands Assemblages range. Hints of liquorice and cinnamon here, this really blossoms after a minute or two breathing in the glass.
A quality aged armagnac in a rather elegant retro decanter-style bottle. 'Clés des Ducs' translates as 'keys of dukes'. The XO designation indicates, as it does in Cognac, that the minimum age of the contents is six years of age.
A 1998 vintage Armagnac produced by Domaine de Salie and bottled by Francis Darroze in 2012. Darroze have been travelling the Armagnac region and selecting their favourite casks to bottle since 1974. The cépage for this is 100% Baco
A full-bodied 20yo blended Bas Armagnac from Darroze, bottled as part of their Grands Assemblages range, this is showing real maturity and complexity after two decades of ageing, while still retaining impressive freshness and bite.
An excellent high-strength non-vintage armagnac from the best region - Bas Armagnac produces heavier, more complex spirits and Domaine Boingneres is highly regarded, despite having a name that sounds a bit like a French bouncy castle.