Armagnac is one of those spirits that, unfortunately, gets little attention outside of France. It’s a shame because often Armagnac outshines the Cognac that is exported throughout the world. To help remedy this situation, RUEVERTE offers mail order Armagnac flights to introduce this wonderful spirit to the consumer who wants to learn more.
Here is a basic lesson on what Armagnac is and how it differs from Cognac. Armagnac is made in the Gascony region of France in three areas: Bas Armagnac in the west, Armagnac Ténarèze in the center, and Haut Armagnac in the East and South. Each has its own particular type of soil which lends character to the grapes used in the production. The aging of Armagnac generally runs from 1 year (VS) to Hors d’Age (10 years). The RUEVERTE explore set differs somewhat, offering 8 and 20-year samples and an Hors d’Age of unknown age. So, these are all exceptional brandies.
Here are my thoughts on this particular set from the House of Goudoulin which dates back to 1935 and is based in the Bas Armagnac region.
8 year: Deep yellow-orange color with a vibrant and appealing nose. Flavors of juicy apple and pear. Light, smooth and well-balanced. There is an interesting funky woodiness that seems down to earth and honestly rustic.
20 year: Color is only slightly lighter (oddly enough) than the 8-year-old. A deeper nose with granny smith apple and marzipan notes. Heavier and with a lot more body and character. The woody character has been tempered down creating more vanilla and soft caramel flavors.
Hors d’Age: The color is similar to the first two brandies. A venerable nose that hints of years in cask. No fruit, just spirit, and wood. The flavor is miles and away quite different from the others. Dark, enveloping, rich and with dried fruit. Hints of cinnamon and cranberry pop in. I am left with a feeling of Christmas.
The three bottlings can best be summed up as seasonal. Summer, Autumn and Winter. It makes for an interesting Armagnac flight from one distillery.
You can read my review of the Absinthexplore sampler here.
For more information go to: Digestif.com