Review 2017-039 «Specifics» Armagnac • Matured for 25 years in French oak casks • 40% Alcohol • Chill filtered? • Caramel coloured? • Delord • Lannepax • Bas-Armagnac • France • Widely available • Price €60-70
STORY. Already in 1893 forefather Prosper Delord traveled with his alembic from farm to farm to distill white wine into armagnac. Three generations later, the Delord vineyard consists of 42 hectares with four traditional grape varieties that are all present in this blend of 25 years, which are Ugni Blanc (for foundation), Colombard (herbal aromas), Baco (roundness) and Foll-Blanche (floral aromas). The slow distillation takes place at low temperature (52-58 degrees Celsius) using both continuous distillation in column stills with so-called spider plates for the old armagnac, and double distillation for the younger armagnacs. In addition, they use 10% Gascon oak during their maturation process to increase tannins, colour and spices. The oldest vintages are kept in glass jars in a room called ‘The Paradise’. On their website they offer the possibility to assemble you own discovery package of three 20 cl bottles.
APPEARANCE. Authentic and historic design, colour of the contents appears like red amber and might be artificially coloured (just wondering).
NOSE. It’s aromatic, round and spicy. Vanilla cream, spicy caramel, aniseed, and a sweet scent of flowers. Some hints toward rye and bourbon whiskeys can be recognised. Then more vanilla, cherry monchou pie (really love that!), rose confiture, more cream cheese, butter. Very particular nose, I must say. (water) More fresh ginger, intertwined with vanilla pods, rye spices, and sweets. Like entering a candy store. Sweet and acidic fruits keep each other in balance. Nice development. Now some grapefruit juice, water melon, some floral notes. You really can recognise the influence of the different grape varieties they used.
TASTE. Both sweet and sour. Cream cheese, butter, vanilla, rose jelly, gooseberries, caramelised lemon skin, citrus sweets, the whole a lovely combination. Finish of black pepper, cardamon, aniseed and nutmeg. (water) This releases more tannins now, also red fruits like raspberries and cranberries, gooseberry sauce, and lemon juice. Somewhat drying on the palate, and the wood spices come to the front, infusing it with cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
VERDICT. The nose and palate of this 25-year-old Delord armagnac have certainly interesting features, which distinguishes it from mainstream armagnacs. Sweeter, fruitier, and a beautiful balance between the acidic, sweet and spicy sides. For myself, I had to get used to it, but ultimately it got me hooked.
Recommended for people who like fruity bourbons or port-finished single malts
Thanks to Norbert for the sample!
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