Two brandies hit the store today! One old friend, and one new one. Both are products from our French spirits trips with Charles Neal. K&L direct, K&L exclusive, K&L value.
Back in stock:
1987 Chateau Pellehaut K&L Exclusive Tenareze Vintage Armagnac $79.99 - While Bas-Armagnac gets all the press, and the Haut-Armagnac gets completely ignored, the Tenareze region of Armagnac is quietly producing some of the best brandies in the world. Much like the Borderies region in Cognac, the Tenareze brandies seem to have more fruit and a bit more life than the more classic Armagnac style. We visited Chateau Pellehaut on our first day in Armagnac last January and were completely overwelmed by the quality of spirit. Using only new or first fill barrels for the beginning years of maturation, the Armagnacs have richness, weight, and spice. The 1987 vintage was one of the most attractive brandies we tasted on the trip, or what we would call a "sexy" spirit. There are gobs of fruit coming on the entry with a Bourbon-like spiciness that gently permeates the rest of the palate. Beautiful concentration and a fantastic finish of toasted nuts with more round stonefruit make this one of the most accessible Armagnacs we've ever carried. Pound for pound, I'm not sure any brandy under $100 can hang with this.
1973 Domaine d'Ognoas K&L Exclusive Vintage Bas-Armagnac $129.99 - 1973 continues to be a strong year for vintage Armagnacs at K&L. Fresh of the boat from our latest French expedition with Charles Neal comes this nearly 40 year old brandy from our favorite co-operative distillery. As a property that's been in existence since the 1200's, Ognoas spends much of its time as an agricultural school and a training ground for young distillers. Because of their status as a "co-op" of sorts, the operation is partly subsidized by the French government, which means the prices are insanely low! This 1973 selection is practically seamless. The entry is rich and warming, wood spices and dark fruits transition into caramel and toffee before you've even had the chance to notice. The flavors are never overpowering or cloying, however, despite the four decades this brandy has spent in wood. This is as good of a deal as you'll see for something this old and this good. Thank goodness K&L lets us go over the Atlantic to find this stuff!