Last of the 40 Year Olds

I was originally planning to send my friend Steve (who did some wonderful write-ups of our brandies this week) a sample of the 1973 Pellehaut for his blog, but the bottles sold so damn fast I wasn't able to!

Every now and then you get a feeling in your gut about a purchase—you say to yourself, "Maybe I should double that order." That's what happened with the 1973. I called Charles Neal up about a week after I had given him the final tallies and said, "Let's double that order of 1973."

"OK," he said, "but we've already got the first batch done, so it will arrive on a later boat."

And now that second shipment is here. But not for long. If you even remotely like old Bourbon, you owe it to yourself to try these Pellehaut brandies, which I think offer many of the same great flavors. I saw a bottle of Elijah Craig 23 fly out of here yesterday at $250. Same with the Redbreast 21 at $250. Yet, with little old Armagnac and it's lack of a proper marketing department, you can have almost double the maturity for about half the price.

1973 Chateau Pellehaut 40 Year Old K&L Exclusive Tenareze Vintage Armagnac $139.99 - 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. While Pellehaut has since switched to entirely Folle Blanche grape varietals, the 1973 vintage is composed of 90% Ugni Blanc. The palate opens with loads of caramel and a creamy richness the spreads quickly. The aromas are quite Bourbon-esque, with hints of soft vanilla and charred oak drifting out of the glass. The complexity of the brandy is astounding - candied fruit, stewed prunes, toasted almond, baking spices, and earthy warehouse notes, all swirling around at the same time. For an Armagnac of this quality, at an age of more than 40 years old, the price we negotiated is amazing. I'm expecting this to be one of our best selling Armagnacs ever and I expect it to really put Pellehaut on the map stateside.

Speaking of blogging, someone sent me this awesome (because it's sooooooo true) chart yesterday and I think you could apply all of these attributes to successful bloggers out there like Steve. I find that people who operate from the left side of the chart usually write fantastic blogs. I find that people who operate from the right side of the chart write hackneyed, boring, stale blogs.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll