Teneraze

Review: Janneau 1983 Grand Armagnac by Jason Hambrey

ABV
43%
Aging
30 Years
Recipe
Distilled from 40% Baco Blanc, 20% Folle Blanche, and 40% Ugni blanc
Distiller Janneau (Condom, France)

Janneau is a bit different than many Armagnac producers - rather than the typical traditional single column distillation to about 52%, Janneau has copper pot stills and distills its spirit twice. It is presented similarly to a whisky (and at a decent strength of 43%) - the website might even be mistaken for a scotch whisky website. The distillery itself is in the region of Teneraze, typically known for more robust and less elegant and light armagnacs - but Janneau blends distilled wines from all regions of Armagnac to craft their spirit. Janneau was founded in 1851, and is still in the family, run now by the fourth generation.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: 1983, bottled 2013

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

On the nose, one of the most elegant Armagnacs I have tasted. Dry, with sultana raisins, dried elderflower, dried berries, potpourri, cumin, and light oak. Rancio and hazlenuts are present in the background, alongside dates, nuts, figs, walnut oil, pralines…another winner! The palate continues with dried berries and lots of nut notes – it isn’t overly heavy or earthy – not suprising given the double distillation. The finish is complex, with roasted spice, oak, light tannins, and preserved lemon.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: Low. There is better out there for this price.


Review: Damblat 10 Year Old Armagnac Napolean by Jason Hambrey

Damblat.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
~7-8 years
Recipe
Distilled from Wine from Colombard, Folle Blanche, and Ugni blanc
Distiller De Montal (Bas-Armagnac, France)

The Damblat and Havion family have been making Armagnac at the Chateau in Ayguetinte Village since 1859. The Chateau where the brandy ages was first built by the Templers in the 13th century, and is surrounded by vineyards. The company Damblat blends brandies from the regions of Bas Armagnac and Tenareze to produce their products.

This is one that seems to come somewhat regularly to the LCBO, so it's one of the few us Ontarians get a look at..


Review (2017)

  • Batch: Cask 5-09

  • Bottling Code: 305/5310

  • Bottling Date: ~2016

This one is a bit funky. Oaky, with lots of date, fig, stewed prune, tabasco, anise, and lots and lots of spices – ginger, black pepper, candied papaya, green peppercorn, star anise, fresh spinach. The palate continues with more candied papaya, anise candies, cumin, lemon peel, dates, and light rancio. It is very interesting, but I’m not sure if I love it. Different than my limited interation with Armagnac, and in the funky/earthy camp for me which means it may have a tendency to divide opinion. Tannic finish with rancio.

Assessment: Recommended. There are some really nice spice notes in here.

Value: Average. A decent spirit for the price.


Review: Larressingle XO Armagnac by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
~10-12 years; black oak casks from Bas- Armagnac
Recipe
Distilled from Wine from Colombard, Folle Blanche, and Ugni blanc
Distiller Larressingle (Condom, France)

This Gascony spirit is made at the Chateau de Larressingle, built by the bishops of Condom in 1250 - the cellars there now hold aging Armagnac. It's hard to find much on Armagnac online, but this appears to be blended from a mix of grapes from Bas Armagnac (primarily) and Teneraze, and about 10-12 years old, though some sources say it is older than that.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

The nose has apples and lots of spicy oak – green cardamom, cinnamon, brown cardamom – and also being fairly earthy. Apples seeds, maple, vanilla, dried berries – opening up with time. The palate is oaky and dry, with some rancio, dark chocolate, and lot sof dry oak. Prunes, walnuts, dried apples, raisins. Very lightly creamy. The finish is a bit lighter than the rest, and is quite enduring, with lots of oak, orange, and rancio. Also very rich, sweet, earthy. The layering of rancio with the rest of the flavor is enticing. This would be a bit higher if not for a light touch of some nagging caramel and saccharin.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: Average. A really nice product, but $100.