Wednesday, September 3, 2014
New K&L Armagnacs: Chateau de Pellehaut
This is my second in a series of three reviews of this year's exclusive brandies from K&L. This year K&L has brought in four Armagnacs from one of my favorite producers, Chateau de Pellehaut in the Tenareze Region. Here they are.
2000 Chateau de Pellehaut, 14 yo, Folle Blanche, 50.5% abv ($50)
This has a really nice nose, dry but fruity, subtle. The palate has some fruit and some of that nice Pellehaut bitterness. Pepper comes in late and goes into the finish. The is surprisingly mature for its age and nicely put together.
1996 Chateau de Pellehaut, 18 yo, Folle Blanche, 50.4% abv ($60)
Last year's 1996 Pellehaut was one of my favorite spirits of the year. Now it's a year older; let's see how it's aged.
The nose is fruity with mulling spices but not too sweet smelling. The palate is spicy, a tad bitter and peppery which fades into a peppery finish. I still have some of last year's '96 so I did a side by side. This year's is not quite as full bodied as last year's and lacks some of the sweeter notes that really rounded that one out. Both are good, but I'd give the nod to last year's version.
1994 Chateau de Pellehaut, 20 yo, Folle Blanche, 48.5% abv ($70)
This has a really bold aroma of leather, polished wood and spice. The palate has grape jelly, oak (like wine casks) and has a dry, chewy mouthfeel. The finish has fruit on the nose and spice on the palate. This one is terrific; it's bold but well balanced and the strong oak notes give it a little something extra.
1978 Chateau de Pellehaut, 36 yo, Ugni Blanc, 45.5% abv ($100)
The nose on this is oaky with lots of polished wood and pipe tobacco. Considering the nose, it's surprisingly sweet on the initial palate, followed by lots of spice. The finish is dry and woody.
As usual with the Pellehauts, these were all good and had the characteristic mix of wood, fruit and bitterness. The 1994 was definitely my favorite of the group. It had a bit more wood and spice, which added to its complexity compared to the '96, but it wasn't quite as dry as the '78.
Thanks to K&L for the samples. Tomorrow I review their Cognacs.