Cognac Show London, April 22/23 2022
Armagnac is a grape brandy produced primarily from four grape varieties (Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Baco 22A and Colombard), although 10 are permitted. Made in the Gascony region of France to the south of Bordeaux (split into three areas: Bas Armagnac, Tenareze and Haut Armagnac), it is distilled only once and often aged for many decades.
Believed to be the oldest brandy in France, the first written record of Armagnac dates from 1411, meaning it predates Cognac by at least 200 years. Due to the location of the region (away from the coast), it remained a local product until the River Baise was canalised in the 19th century and exportation became easier.
Originally produced in large alembic stills, a local peasant created the Verdier still, patented in 1818. This new type of still allowed more of the flavour to be retained from the original wine, thus increasing complexity and setting it apart from Cognac. The resulting spirit is then aged in oak, normally 400-litre Limousin casks, for at least two years before it can be called Armagnac.
Armagnac can be divided into two main categories: vintage and non-vintage. Vintage Armagnacs are distilled from grapes grown in a single year, with the date displayed on the bottle. Non-vintage Armagnacs can either be labelled by age, where the number of years quoted relates to the youngest component of the blend or by category: VS (minimum two years in wood), VSOP (at least four years), XO (more than six years) or Hors d’Age (10 years plus). #domainedesperance#armagnac#armagnacs#armagnaclover#cognacshow2022