Monday, June 24, 2013
Domaine Boingneres Armagnacs
Today I try three Armagnacs from the well regarded Domaine Boingneres in Bas-Armagnac which specializes in Folle Blanche Armagnacs though they also grow Ugni Blanc and Colombard. Their releases tend to be cask strength, though not all say that on the bottle. (After a single distillation and aging, cask strength for Armagnac is typically quite low compared to whiskey or even Cognac).
Domaine Boingneres Reserve Speciale, 48% abv ($95)
Fresh oak and wood spice dominate the nose. The palate is sweet with lots of oak and spice and a touch of mint. The finish has bananas. This is a very nice, very drinkable brandy.
Domaine Boingneres Cepages Nobles, 48% abv ($110)
The nose is almost gin like with juniper and some anise. The palate also has those gin like qualities along with peppery notes, coriander and other botanicals, including some distinct rye whiskey type spiciness. The finish has sweet anise and some earthy bitterness.
This one is all over the place with notes reminiscent of gin, absinthe and rye whiskey. It's nice, but not something I would go out of my way for.
Domaine Boingneres 1984 Folle Blanche, 24 years old, 48% abv ($200)
This 100% Folle Blanche Armagnac has a nose of spice and honey. The one develops quite nicely on the palate. It starts with a very brief sweet brandy note, which is quickly subsumed by a dry spiciness with clove and pepper, moving then to oak and a chewy mouthfeel. The finish is earthy oak with a tinge of bitterness.
This is a very nice, complex Armagnac with great spicy and earthy notes. Unfortunately, the price is very high compared to comparable Armagnacs which makes it hard to recommend without qualification. Still, it's good stuff.
For being from the same producer, these are very different brandies. I didn't care for the Cepages Nobles, but the Reserve is wonderfully drinkable and the 1984 Folle Blanche is delicious and complex.
Domaine Boingneres is definitely one of the Armagnacs that's doing it right and worth seeking out.