COME TO YOUR SENSES
For more than 700 years under the sun, in south west France, men and women have been whispering the production secrets of a noble spirit, rich and amber in colour.
In these cellars and chateaux, Armagnac ages slowly and fills the air with its rich palate of fine aromas.
Other white grape varieties are Clairette de Gascogne B, Jurançon Blanc B, Plant de Graisse B, Meslier Saint François B, Mauzac Blanc B et Mauzac Rosé Rs.
The aromas of Armagnac develop naturally with the age of the eaux-de-vie. The heart of this palette gives points of reference as to its age. They witness the evolution of the aromatic families that appear or dominate over time.
The Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac (B.N.I.A.) groups together a network professionals (independent or cooperative producers, merchants, distillers and brokers) and offers here an excellent presentation of the evolution of aromas and savors of Armagnac.
Food and wine pairing:
The surprising diversity of Armagnac allows it to be matched with an infinite number of dishes. Armagnac can be served harmoniously throughout a meal.
During a meal
The Blanche can be served as a ‘trou gascon’ (a little glass of ice cold Blanche or prune ice cream and Blanche).
It works well with smoked salmon, caviar, foie gras, cold meats, and lemon tart.
Young armagnacs are used for flaming (shellfish, meats, patisseries) and sauces. A splash of armagnac can easily replace the vinegar in a vinaigrette.
They work well with blue veined cheeses (Fourme, Roquefort).
Old armagnacs with guinea fowl and fruit, duck breast with honey, cep mushroom omelette …
Fruit based desserts: tarte tatin, pear charlotte, candied orange … chocolate desserts such as black forest gateau, chocolate mousse…
Special desserts such as an Armagnac Baba served alongside a 2cl glass of Armagnac, crepes with the liqueur Pousse Rapière…
The sweetness of the dessert softens the vivacity of the eau-de-vie.
With coffee. And not to forget, cigar lovers will be delighted with this after-dinner-companion!
MORE ABOUT ARMAGNAC
1936: Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC-AOP*), 2005 for the Blanche-Armagnac
Location: Gers, the Landes and Lot-et-Garonne departments
Production area: 4 200 ha (10 378 acres)
Harvest: 13 800 hl (1 380 000 litres)
Terroir: Bas-Armagnac, Armagnac Tenarèze and Haut-Armagnac together constitute a vineyard in the form of a vine leaf that represents 15 000 hectares of vines planted (shared with the IGP Côtes de Gascogne and PDO Floc de Gascogne, of which today, 4200 hectares are identified exclusively for the production of Armagnac).
- Bas-Armagnac to the west is rolling countryside; the vines grow on poor and acidic clay loam soils with pockets of iron elements in places that colour it reddish brown, hence their name ‘tawny sands’. The ‘boulbènes’, characteristic sediment in the region are predominantly silty soils. This zone produces light, fruity, delicate and highly reputed eaux-de-vie.
- Armagnac-Ténarèze in the centre is a transitional zone. Here we find ‘boulbènes’ and ‘terreforts’ (Gascon name given to clay-limestone soils that are heavy yet fertile). These eaux-de-vie are generally more full-bodied. They reach their peak after a long ageing.
- Haut-Armagnac in the south and east is very spread out. The hills are of limestone and clay-limestone whilst the valleys are sometimes covered with boulbènes. The vineyards here are quite sparse.
Climate: The climate is temperate and gentle. The humid oceanic influence reduced by the Landes forest is particularly noticeable in the west of the Appellation. To the east, it is the Mediterranean climate that has an impact with the southerly winds.
* Created by the EU in 1992, the AOP label (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) designates products that have been produced, processed and developed in a specific geographical area, using the recognized know-how of local producers and ingredients from that region. The English equivalent is PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).