Domaine du Miquer is finally here and I expect this producer to be one of the strongest players in our French spirits department for some time to come. These are both knockouts, classic in every way.
It’s been pretty well documented over the last few decades that many of the most complex and interesting Armagnacs have been distilled from Folle Blanche wine. Besides the rather stubborn varietal, Armagnac can also be stilled from Ugni Blanc, Baco, or Colombard, but Folle Blanche seems to be a very special grape for distillation. The problem, however, is that Folle Blanche is a much more difficult grape to grow, plus it’s not as valuable for wine production as Ugni Blanc and Colombard are. So if you’re into making wine as well as brandy, you’re more likely to grow Ugni Blanc or Colombard. If you’re into making durable, long-lived Armagnac, you’re probably growing Baco. If you’re interested in making tasty, esoteric, miniscule amounts of Armagnac that will only be appreciated by a handful of super-geeky, anal-retentive spirits nerds around the globe, then you’re probably making Armagnac from Folle Blanche. Unfortunately, there are not many producers who cater to us geeky types, so these selections are quite special for that reason.
A bit more info about Domaine du Miquer, you ask? Why sure!
Taken from the blog this past March:
Our next stop after Dupuy was another new face for K&L: an estate called Domaine du Miquer that is run by Jacques Lasserre. Jacques is a veteran of the business and for years was the distiller for many other producers in the region (remember than many Armagnac producers have no stills and hire other people to distill their wine). He knows the production from the vineyard to the bottle and you can tell it right away when you taste his brandy. They are polished and exquisite in quality. His crazy old still was made in 1900 and continues to create one masterpiece after another.
Both David and I expect Miquer to be a big player for K&L in 2013. There were a number of selections that interested us. Even though Jacques only has six hectares of fruit, with which only four are dedicated to distillation, he had tons of great booze. A 1986 Folle Blanche sample was incredibly refined and polished. We were hooked right off the bat. A 1993 showed beautiful aromas and wonderful hints of Blackjack and Big Red gum on the finish. A 1982 Baco was also stunning.
If all goes well we might take as many as five expressions from Miquer because they're so impressive. We can't really ask for better brandy to sell at K&L. Jacques was also a very nice guy who is the kind of person we want to be doing more business with.
1993 Domaine du Miquer K&L Exclusive Bas Armagnac $115.99 - The 1993 is absolutely stunning with a beautiful bouquet of warm baking spices and woody barrel notes. The finish has a vibrant Big Red cinnamon note and hint of anise that really gives it pep. This is a very special brandy that matches some of the best we have ever carried from producers like Darroze, Baraillon, and Ravignan.
1986 Domaine du Miquer K&L Exclusive Bas Armagnac $129.99 - The 1986 is rich, spicy, full of woody notes, but also the softer side of the grape. The Folle Blanche gives this brandy finesse and an elegance that is rarely seen with Armagnac these days.