Every so often we love to do an Armagnac session, usually sparked by new releases from Grape of the Artwork.
Domaine de Danis sits the Ténarèze manufacturing zone of Armagnac. It’s a vineyard in Gascogne that makes a speciality of white Côtes de Gascogne wines. Only a small half is saved apart for armagnac manufacturing. All of their obtainable vintages since 1982 are made with the Folle Blanche selection, together with the 1988 classic we’re making an attempt as we speak. Older vintages are a mix of Baco and Ugni Blanc. They’ve round 120 barrels distributed over two cellars, one humid and one dry.
Armagnac Danis 33 yo 1988 (47,6%, Grape of the Artwork 2023, cask #34, 387 btl.)
Nostril: very nice, with a giant risky observe. Oil paint and wax polish, with aromatic herbs. As soon as this high observe settles down, it unfolds mirabelles, quinces and apricots, with floral honey and hints of rosewood. Vanilla pastry within the background. Fairly high-pitched with a giant varnished facet.
Mouth: an analogous shiny begin, on yellow stone fruits with dashes of honey sweetness. Barely skinny maybe, however it fits the brightness of this profile. Then mid-palate it turns into a bit extra caramelized, with hints of vanilla and a touch of natural oak. Properly balanced, the woody facet turns into the outstanding component in direction of the top, however it stays minty and recent, not drying.
End: fairly lengthy, with sappy wooden and a darker trace of chocolate within the very finish.
Actually shiny and chic. The fantastically varnished nostril interprets into some woody notes on the palate. General a really nice launch at an ideal consuming energy. Already offered out in most locations, however you may discover some bottles left at a few of their trusted companions.
We proceed with one other armagnac from the identical bottler. Château de Hontambère is situated in Ténarèze. They’ve their very own manufacturing of armagnac however they’re additionally managing the Laporte Reserve, which appears to be a group of outdated casks of armagnac.They’ve over 30 vintages in inventory, all the way in which again to the Nineteen Seventies. This 1985 classic (a mix of Baco and Ugni Blanc) comes from one other acquired inventory that originated at Domaine Pouchégu.
Armagnac Hontambère 36 yo 1985 (56,6%, Grape of the Artwork 2022, cask #H6, 350 btl.)
Nostril: very forthcoming, with a variety of furnishings polish, a little bit glue and smoke-ridden cigar containers. Then ample vanilla and cinnamon pastry, tobacco and hints of leather-based that remind us of American bourbons. Beneath there’s a darkish sweetness of caramelized nuts, dried figs, skinny mints and dates. A lightweight whiff of menthol provides freshness.
Mouth: I believed it will be too woody however that’s not the case, or not less than it’s very effectively built-in. There’s a shiny fruitiness at its core (baked apples, tangerines and hints of marmalade). Now extra on the rummy facet maybe, with hints of molasses. Then again to vanilla, pipe tobacco and walnut skins. There’s nonetheless a varnished and resinous, virtually flowery edge. A touch of salted liquorice too.
End: lengthy, on leathery notes and tobacco, with a bitter fruity echo and a salty observe.
This Hontambère offers a pleasant mixture of fruits and richly polished wooden, with echoes of each heavy rum and bourbon whiskey. Actually wealthy and nice. Protected to say Grape of the Artwork is sort of a reference with regards to armagnac. Rating: 90/100
For the primary time, Darroze has bottled an unique single cask for the German market (via their importer Kirsch). The 18 yr outdated Armagnac was created from 100% Baco grapes.
Armagnac Duporté 18 yo 2004 (47,5%, Darroze for Kirsch Import 2022, 320 btl.)
Nostril: fairly extensive widh a minty wooden affect. Eucalyptus, faint hints of incense. Then a little bit leather-based but in addition vanilla and hints of tobacco leaves. At this level it may have been an outdated rum. Within the background we get candy pears and hints of prune jam.
Mouth: once more fairly oaky, with loads of liquorice and menthol, in addition to some white pepper and drops of bitter natural extracts. Quinces beneath, in addition to raisins and a touch of brown sugar. Then again to vanilla, walnuts and different toasted nuts.
End: lengthy, on tobacco, bitter oranges and drops of Fernet-Branca.
Certainly if you happen to’re a fan of outdated Port Mourant for example, that is an attention-grabbing armagnac for you. Fascinating natural notes, in all probability wonderful as a cough syrup, however maybe a little bit too woody for my style. Rating: 86/100
Armagnac Aurian 1984 (53,7%, OB for Rum & Co, Bonbonne #15, 70 btl.)
Nostril: properly varnished, with hints of outdated paint, acetone and recent leather-based. A thick sweetness beneath, with caramel sauce, apple pastry and raisins. Then some raspberries and rose petals. Natural honey.
Mouth: tobacco leaves with a light-weight bitter edge (lemons and bitter cherries) and natural extracts. Nonetheless some berry fruits, however they’re overtaken by umami notes, roasted nuts. Salted caramel. Then a little bit pepper and ginger earlier than it strikes in direction of sandalwood.
End: lengthy, on cloves and closely infused black tea, with hints of Cola and leather-based.
A variety of character. Particularly the nostril is spectacular – on the palate there’s a agency woody facet once more, which bothers me a little bit. In reality it’s not the primary time I’m saying this about Aurian bottled for Germany. Rating: 87/100
Bas-Armagnac Mestépès 30 yo 1990 (58,2%, Swell de Spirits ‘Flashback #5’ 2022, 200 btl.)
Nostril: a much less fruity profile this time. Pine wooden and menthol stand out, in addition to tobacco leaves and furnishings polish. Hints of peaches and lightweight greenish notes (tomato stems or bell peppers). Gentle roasted touches within the background.
Mouth: once more fairly savoury, with extra charred wooden, candy plum sauce and leathery notes. Then fairly some spicy notes (cloves, ginger) and recent herbs. Just a few dashes of natural bitters, even a salty observe. Marmalade and Seville oranges too.
End: lengthy, on cloves and different wooden spices, with a faint meaty observe and a delicate plankish observe.
Fairly wood-forward once more, with extra dryness than within the ones above. Highly effective stuff, possibly a little bit excessive for my style. Rating: 85/100