Marie Duffau Napoleon (40.0%):
Well, this household needed an everyday Armagnac for a long time... I picked this bottle at K&L Wines
last week and pretty amped to taste it. The bottle is labeled as "Napoleon" which means the youngest component in the blend is at least six years old. Marie Duffau uses grapes from a twelve hectare vineyard in Bas Armagnac region and their Armagnac is distilled only once at an incredibly low temperature (129F-136F / 54C-58C) at a very slow rate before it is filled in Gascon Oak (10%) and Limousin Oak (90%) casks. Color:
Medium dark amber, wildflower honey. Nose:
Old hardwood furniture, chestnut candy (marron glacè) and burnt sugar. Black currant jam, cooked prunes and dried apricots. Old leather upholstery and spiced apple cider. Palate:
Roasted almond, walnuts and toasted oak staves. Baked quinces and baked apples, allspice, juniper berries and cinnamon. Roasted chestnut shells... Warm with black pepper and vanilla bean scrapings. Raisins, eucalyptus, roasted pine nuts and rosemary. Finish:
Medium long with more roasted and salted nuts and cracked black peppercorns. Overall:
Rough, a little fierce and restless on the palate but if you are ordering a relatively young Armagnac you should be ready for this kinda spirit anyway. Actually it really taste like an Armagnac you would get if you order one in an ordinary neighborhood café in southern France. On the other hand the palate carries interesting juniper berry and rosemary notes which made it taste slightly like a cask aged genever or even like a young marc brandy in this case. I very much enjoyed the ride. I have to admit that it is a great buy with a price tag in mid thirties. Cannot wait to have a sip every time I brew a late night coffee in coming winter months. Well, I wanted to have an everyday Armagnac and I pretty much nailed it. Highly recommended in this price range...