Armagnac: Virtuous by Nature

18 July, 2014

“We are working also at the moment on our website and we have included videos and more information to make our website appealing and informative. We are also taking time with bloggers related to gastronomy and cooking.”

Florence and Jean Castarède have written a cookery book which also includes recipes for cocktails.

“The armagnac category is declining at the moment because of the economic and political context,” she says. “The sales in restaurants such as in France are decreasing, but on the other side, business with restaurants in Singapore for example, are better and better.”

Denis Lesgourgues, president of LEDA which owns Château Laubade, tells Drinks International that Laubade is a single estate with 105ha under vine, the largest single-vineyard estate in the region with a potential to produce 300,000 cases.

“Armagnac is very niche but we are in a good position with quality and authenticity. Small is beautiful,” he quips. “And 2013 has been one of our best years.”

The family “loves Baco”, according to Lesgourgues, because of its power and capacity to age. Every year they plant five more hectares. They also like Folle Blanche for the subtlety it brings to the cuvée.

Château du Tariquet’s first production of armagnac is dated 1683. The Grassa family purchased the Bas-Armagnac estate in 1912. Ithier Bouchard from Tariquet sees determining factors as quality and favourable price/quality ratio while the challenges and opportunities are lack of awareness and potential new consumers discovering Armagnac.

In May 2014 Tariquet launched a new presentation with Château du Tariquet Bas-Armagnac Le Légendaire. Bouchard says: “Légendaire Bas Armagnac from Château du Tariquet is one of the classic blends that the family is focusing on at the moment with new, contemporary packaging.”

Armagnac Delord has introduced new Bas-Armagnac. L’Authentique is described as a “natural, traditional and authentic Bas-Armagnac blend.”

This is the first cask strength (45.9% abv) armagnac produced by the family.

L’Authentique (€70) is described as an armagnac with “great complexity bringing together notes of vanilla, oak, cedar and roasted flavours to prunes, nuts and dried fruit.”

Garnham’s concluding message to the trade: “Learn as much as you can about the category and never underestimate its diversity. Register for one of the Armagnac Academies and come to the region as the BNIA is very active and the houses are happy to welcome visitors.”

If Prior Vital Dufour was here today, you can be sure he would be ready to welcome you.

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