Loujan:Bas Armagnac, South-west France
Armagnac is France’s oldest and finest brandy. Even to this day Armagnac remains a craft industry with small, artisanal producers using historic production methods and little or no advertising or international marketing. All Armagnac is produced in the Gascony region to the southeast of Bordeaux.
Loujan lies within the historical confines of the “Grand Bas Armagnac”. The temperate oceanic climate delivers mild winters, rainy springs, hot summers and a sunny autumn. The retreating ocean, has left behind an acidic, light and rich alluvial ‘tawny sand’. The Landes Forest is located close to the Bas-Armagnac vineyards, creating a natural barrier, thus, helping dramatically to regulate the temperature and rainfall. These climatic conditions and soil are a perfect match for producing fine brandy.
Loujan is traditionally distilled in a single continuous still known as , an Alambic Armagnacais. This process of heating the wine until it produces steam, capturing the rich, full bodied aromas in a pure and un altered fashion, then converting the steam to the final ‘Eau de vie”, is exactly what sets Armagnac apart from other fine brandies.
Armagnac is typified by its rich, full bodied characteristics, showing strong primary fruit. It is dominated by dried fruit flavours, with hints of vanilla, leather, almonds and hickory. Aromatics consist of undiluted smokey and earthy overtones.
All of the Lougan Bas Armagnac brandies have been blended together by the great Marc Darroze, of Francis Darroze.
12 year old Gold color with darker tints. Very fresh nose where the fruity flavors are dominant — orange peel, prune. The second nose is spicy showing some matured flavors like vanilla and honey. On the palate, the tannins are round and complex for an Armagnac of this age. It’s still very young (fruits, linden taste) but also mature and complex with a high quality of tannins. Marc Darroze, Francis Darroze Bas-Armagnacs.
17 year old Produced from Bacco and Ugni Blanc grapes, this distinctive Armagnac, produced in multiple years, many of which are much older than 17 years, is also new to the market and was awarded a Gold Medal at the prestigious 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
1979 Vintage Amber color with gold and red tints. The nose is complex. We sense some fruity flavors (prune, quince), and some spices (vanilla, cloves, and honey). The second nose changes a little, due to the air contact. We sense some dry fruit flavors like almonds and nuts. On the palate, the balance between aromas (licorice and chocolate), tannins (round and fat) and alcohol is perfect. Long, long spicy finish. Marc Darroze, Francis Darroze Bas-Armagnacs.