Although boasting longevity, Armagnac is still not very well known to the world outside of Europe. Less popular than its close counterpart, Cognac, this 700-year-old, wine-based spirit reigns as France’s first brandy and hails from the Gascony region. It is distilled only once in a column still and uses a blend of grapes that include the Ugni Blanc, Folle blanche, Colombard, and Baco Blanc. The result is a fuller, more flavorful, and fragrant spirit. Though smaller in production and certainly more localized, nothing should keep you from treating yourself to a glass when given the chance.
Delord 25-year-old Bas Armagnac
The Armagnac Delord story dates all the way back to 1893, with Prosper Delord traveling from farm to farm to transform white wine into Armagnac. It wasn’t till 1932 when his grandsons started the house in Lannepex, where the distillery is still located today. They are known for many Armagnac, but this specific one is 25 years old with a superb blend of flavors. Having hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, raisins, walnut, and spices, it has a biscuit-like and silky finish that can’t be ignored.
Chateau du Busca 15-year-old Hors d’âge
Specifically located in Ténarèze, the Busca-Maniban estate covers almost 500 acres of land and has been producing Armagnac since the mid-17th century. Not only can they boast their long reign, but also the Château is the only privately owned wine estate to be classified as a French historical monument in the Armagnac region. Deep orange in hue and sweet to the taste, it has notes of mandarin and lightly roasted vanilla with flavors of ripe, black plum and fig on the nose.
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Château de Laubade EXTRA Bas Armagnac
For three generations, Château de Laubade has been on a quest for excellence and continues to strive for nothing less than the best quality Armagnacs to this day. Château de Laubade EXTRA encompasses this, as it is considered to be the essence of the house’s blends. It is made from vintages that are aged for at least 35 years in oak barrel, making it complex, rich, and delicate. Here there can be found luxurious and mature aromas such as dried yellow fruit, nougat, cocoa, oak, honey, and candied orange.
Francis Darroze Les Grands Assemblages 50-year-old Bas Armagnac
Francis Darroze travelled all over the famous Bas-Armagnac area of France with his knowledge and talent of discovering small estate Armagnacs before constructing a cellar specifically dedicated to aging in the 1970’s. One of their finest treasures is their 50-year-old Les Grands Assemblages, which exemplifies their desire to satisfy the loyal clientele through its overall freshness and balance. Chocolate, leather, and roasted notes characterize this amber brown Armagnac.
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Dartigalongue Hors d’âge Bas Armagnac
The Dartigalongue family has been making artisanal Armagnacs since 1838 in the first region of the Armagnac Appellation. Since then, they continue to create, age and blend some of the most beautiful fruits and terroir in the region into their Armagnacs. The result this is their Hors d’âge, which has a minimum 10 years of aging. Aromas of vanilla, prunes, toasted oak, and touches of yellow-fleshed fruits make up this easy to enjoy Armagnac. It pairs well with Foi gras mi cuit, or chocolate fondant.