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Friday
Jun082018

The K&L Brandies

Since the beginning of their brandy program back in 2012, K&L has brought in a lot of French brandy, much of which is hard to find anywhere else in the U.S. David Othenin-Gerard just got back from France, so hopefully there will be more to come.  I thought it might be handy to list out some of the domaines I've really enjoyed from the K&L brandy program
 
Type: Armagnac 
Region: Tenareze 
Grapes: Folle Blanche 
Vintages: 1973, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2001 
 
K&L seems to get a steady stream from this Tenareze house including multiple ages from some of these vintages.  These are some of my favorite brandies and they tend to be very consistent with a characteristic balance of fruit and spice. I especially like the 1990s bottles. 
 
Domaine de Baraillon 
Type: Armagnac 
Region: Bas Armagnac 
Grapes: Baco/Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanche 
Vintages: 10 yo, 1893, 1933, 1974, 1976, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1995, 2003 
 
More than any other spirit, Baraillon made me a brandy drinker. They are a bit more inconsistent than Pellehaut and sometimes they need a lot of air, but at their best, they are unrivaled and full of spicy/earthy goodness. I particularly like the '70s and '80s vintages and tend to prefer the Baco/Ugni blends to the Folle Blanche.  
 
Type: Armagnac 
Region: Tenareze 
Grapes: Ugni Blanc 
Vintages: 1964, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2005 
 
Grangerie was most popular for the very affordable 50 year old from 1964, but my favorites have been the stuff from the 2000s. This is one of the few brandies I prefer young. 
 
Cardinat 
Type: Armagnac 
Region: Bas Armagnac 
Grapes: Folle Blanche, Colombard, Baco, Ugni Blanc 
Vintages: 1981, 1987, 1992 
 
There were only three of these, but man were they good...and different, from the oak monster 1981 to the spicy/earthy 1992.  I hope there will be more one day (hint, hint).  
 
Domaine de Pouchegu 
Type: Armagnac 
Region: Tenareze 
Grapes: Baco  
Expressions: 1986 
 
There was only one bottle from this domaine which is no longer in production, but it was fantastic -  spicy/fruity/oaky and very complex.  A real bourbon lover's brandy.  I was excited to hear that there will be a few more coming in soon.  
 
Domaine de Jean Bon 
Type: Armagnac 
Region: Bas Armagnac 
Grapes: Baco 
Vintages: 1974, 1979, 1987, 1990, 1995, 1999 
 
These were nice and fruity.  
 
Type: Armagnac 
Region: Bas Armagnac 
Grapes: Baco 
Vintages: XO, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1995 
 
Brandies from this small domaine tend to be dry and spicy with ginger, menthol, clove and lemon.  
 
Type: Calvados 
Region: Domfrontais 
Fruit: Pears and apples. 
Expressions: Reserve, 15 yo, 2010 
 
Pacory is one of the few Calvados producers from which K&L has been able to bring in multiple expressions. I really love these pear heavy brandies.

-Sku

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