Dartigalongue

Review: Dartigalongue 1975 Bas Armagnac by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
38 Years
Recipe
Distilled from wine from Baco, Colombard, Folle Blanche, and Ugni blanc
Distiller Dartilagongue (Nogaro, France)

Dartigalongue was founded in 1838 when Pascal Dartigalongue moved to Nogaro and founded his Armagnac house. Armagnac became established in large part because of the Dutch merchants, who would export large quantities of Armagnac and typically dilute them before drinking them as a wine - because Armagnac didn't spoil and is more concentrated than wine, you get more for less. When Dartigalongue started, the market was still controlled in large part by export - and he sent casks off to Holland and England. The business is still in the family, now in the 5th generation, and they own surrounding vineyards from which they are able to make their component wines to be distilled.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: Bottled 2013, distilled 1975

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

Lots of oak! Interestingly, a good tinge of pomegranate here. Fresh berries, oak, oak, oak…rancio, raisins, currants – all woven together terrifically. Brilliant. A good leap from the 25 year old in terms of complexity. Still dry, too…potpourri, dried flowers, and even some starfruit. The palate is subtle, elegant, and exceedingly complex. The dried floral notes continue, alongside dried fruit and nuts, orange peel, with the rancio taking over and combining with rich dates and prunes and oak to take the finish. Lots of oak, but not too much rancio. On top, you have citrus and caramel, in the middle your spices, and underneath – tangy rancio. Terrific.

Dry, fruity, style- not overly caramel laden. Really comes together with age.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: Low, on an absolute scale. But $165 for a 40 year old product? That isn’t bad…


Review: Dartigalongue 25 Year Old Bas Armagnac by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
25 Years, 400 litre casks
Recipe
Distilled from wine from Baco, Colombard, Folle Blanche, and Ugni blanc
Distiller Dartilagongue (Nogaro, France)

This is a mix of the 1979 and 1981 vintages (50% of each), and is terrific in value for an old spirit ($100 in Quebec). But, I still think if you are wanting to taste some older armagnac - spend a bit more and get an even older Dartigalongue like the terrific 1975. Armagnac ages beautifully.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: from 1978 and 1981 vintages

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2006 (?)

I'm not actually sure when this was bottled...in Armagnac they aren't as fussy about age, so, although I bought this in 2016, I'm not sure if it was actually bottled at a minimum 25 years in 2006 or was actually more like 35 years old with a 25 year old age statement because it sounded better. So, I put 2006 as the date but it could well have been that it sat for longer in oak, or sat in the bottle for a while before release.

Unsurprisingly, some oak! Lightly acidic on the nose, with peaches, prunes, figs, vanilla, cinnamon, rancio, and vanilla. A change after some heavy caramel Armagnacs of late! Spicy, too, with some nutmeg and brown cardamom (the non-smoky parts). Apple seed. The palate has a lot more rancio and wood, relatively, than how things came out in the nose. And a pleasant, balancing, brown sugar and toffee sweetness. This is very good – no doubt about that. Lightly tangy, but not very much, and rancio rumbles away in the background with some black pepper. Actually better on the palate than the nose. Dry, too, finishing with some freeze-dried strawberry and lots of dried fruit. Rancio comes in at the end, quite well. Brilliant.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: Average. But, I still often recommend this from a value perspective - it’s quite a nice spirit.