Monday, August 19, 2013
Two New Chateau de Pellehaut Armagnacs from K&L
I was very impressed with last year's Chateau de Pellehaut Armagnacs from K&L's exclusive barrel program so when they announced two new vintage barrels for this year, I was excited to try them.
As you may recall, Chateau de Pellehaut is a grower/distiller from the Tenareze region of Armagnac.
1996 Chateau de Pellehaut, 17 yo, Folle Blanche, K&L Exclusive, 50.4% ($60)
The nose is earthy and rich. The palate brings out that earthiness with a slight bitterness and some background spice. This is one of those deep, earthy brandies that I would usually identify with something much older. It's fantastic stuff and I highly recommend it.
1983 Chateau de Pellehaut, 30 yo, Ugni Blanc, K&L Exclusive, 47.8% ($85)
Yes, this is a 30 year old Armagnac for $85, another reason why I'm loving brandy these days. Suck it Scotch!
The nose on the 1983 is sweet and syrupy with Canadian Whisky notes. The palate starts off with some of that syrup and orange rind, then moves to spice and earthy notes. The finish is a bit acidic.
Overall, the 1983 is good, but the 1996 is wonderful. Last time I tried two Pellehauts, I also preferred the younger one, but in both cases the older version was Ugni Blanc and the younger expression has more Folle Blanche, so I'm not sure if it's the age or the grape that I'm appreciating. In any case, I found the 1996 drier, spicier and more complex and the 1983 fruitier and sweeter, and I tend to favor dry and spicy over sweet and fruity; your tastes may be different.
Both of these continue to reinforce my perception that we are indeed in a golden age of brandy. Great prices for wonderful, old brandies. Enjoy it while it lasts.