Glenmorangie Tusail

The Latest Glenmorangie Private Edition No. 6 Has Arrived

Glenmorangie Tusail follows hot on the heels of last years Glenmorangie Companta.

Glenmorangie Tusail Label

The means that the list of Private Edition releases now looks like this,

Sonnalta PX – finished in old Pedro Ximenez (dessert) Sherry casks
Artein – finished in ex- Sassicaia casks (one of the first Super-Tuscans)
Finealta – a recreation of the Glenmorangie blend from the early 1900s with a small amount of peated malt
Ealanta – a 19 Year Old whisky aged in virgin American white oak casks sourced from trees grown in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri
Companta – no-age statement whiskey finished or “extra-matured” in casks that have previously held wine from the Burgundy Grand Cru, Clos de Tart (Pinot Noir), and casks that previously held a “lusciously sweet fortified wine from the Côtes du Rhône”
Tusail – made with Maris Otter “rare grain” barley

Buy Glenmorangie Tusail at Fareham Wine Cellar

So What is Glenmorangie Tusail?

Glenmorangie Tusail is a single malt Highland whisky made from a very rare, but legendary, winter barley called Maris Otter. This strain of barley was bred by Dr G D H Bell and his team of plant breeders in Cambridge with the express purpose of producing give consistently high quality malt for the cask-conditioned ale market. Maris Otter was introduced  to the market in 1966 (or 1965 depending on what you read) and was popular for many years until cross-pollination, the use of uncertified seed and the introduction of much higher yielding varieties saw its popularity decline significantly.

However, there was still demand for Maris Otter from high-quality brewers and much work was done in the 1990s by the seed-merchant owners of the Maris Otter barley strain to clean up the genetics of the strain. Today, after a risk of the strain being consigned to history, it is used to make many fine English beers such as Maris Otter Vintage Ale from Stroud Brewery, many of the beers at the Otter Brewery in Devon and at Brecon Brewing in Powys.

All the while Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of distilling and whisky creation, had remembered about this grain and ordered a batch of Maris Otter winter barley and arranged for it to be traditionally floor malted, distilling a batch of new make spirit and laying it away into a handful of carefully selected designer casks. Bottled at 46% ABV with no age statement and non chill filtered. And the name? Tùsail is the Scots Gaelic for originary, an homage to the Maris Otter barley variety.

Of Glenmorangie Tusail Dr Bill Lumsden says, “When we heard the story of those determined to preserve such a flavoursome grain, their ethos – and the barley itself – seemed the perfect match for a Glenmorangie single malt. I knew its deep flavour profile would provide an intriguing contrast to Glenmorangie’s more delicate house style, creating a whisky to enchant connoisseurs.”

Glenmorangie Tusail Tasting Notes

(from Glenmorangie)

COLOUR
Bright ochre

NOSE
Deep, earthy, robust aromas; malty, biscuity tones with a backbone of nut toffee.

TASTE
Rich, rustic flavours of nut toffee, sweet barley malt, ginger, cinnamon, molasses, and dates, complementing more familiar Glenmorangie notes of peaches, oranges and smoked pears.

FINISH
Mouth-coating finish

1965 Vintage Armagnac

Are you looking for a 50th Birthday Present?

Why not try a bottle of 1965 Vintage Armagnac that will be 50 years old in 2015?

At Fareham Wine Cellar we stock 1965 Armagnac from Baron de Lustrac and Baron de Sigognac.  Both producers are specialist in the production and supply of rare, old, vintage Armagnacs and both still have stocks going back to the early 1900s – have a look here for a full list of available vintages, maybe there is one for another anniversary or birthday celebration.

1965 Vintage Armagnac has a number of advantages over other wines and spirits from 1965.

1. Vintage Armagnac is made in almost every vintage, so it quite easy to find. With Armagnac it is arguably the aging in oak barrels which is a more important factor than the base white wine produced for distillation. So you do not get as much vintage variation. Having said that, the vintage does have an effect on the style of the Armagnac. Have a look at the Baron de Sigognac Vintage Armagnac chart to see how vintages do vary.

2. Vintage Port is not made in every vintage and 1965 was not a declared vintage. Having said that you may find some single vintage Tawny Ports, known as Colheita Ports, from 1965 and they should still be drinking well.

3. Vintage Armagnac keeps very well once bottled. I can think of very few wines from 1965 that will still be worth drinking. You might find some for sale, but they may not be very nice!

4. A wine or Port from 1965, once opened, will need drinking immediately. Even a 1965 Colheita Port will oxidise within a few days once open. Once Vintage Armagnac is opened, you will have a good few months enjoy it, it won’t degrade that noticeably very quickly.

5. 1965 Vintage Armagnac is relatively affordable compared to other wines and spirits from 1965. Take a look at a top wine or a whisky from 1965 and you will be looking at prices between £400 to £1000+ a bottle. Bear in mind point 3!

At time of writing, Fareham Wine Cellar has two different 1965 Vintage Armagnacs, one from Baron de Lustrac and one from Baron de Sigognac.

Baron de Sigognac 1965 Vintage Armagnac

Baron de Sigognac 1965 Vintage Armagnac Label

Baron de Sigognac is a family owned producer of Armagnac owned by the Gausch family since 1974. All of their Armagnacs are aged as single vintage brandies and most are bottled as single vintage Armagnac. However Baron de Sigognac do blend some for bottling as 10, 20, 25 and 50 year old blends and for their XO Platinum. They also make a fantastic orange Armagnac liqueur called La Grande Josiane.

Baron de Sigognac 1965 Vintage Armagnac has a beautiful reddish amber colour with a fine and elegant nose that is powerful and harmonious with notes of wood, candied orange and vanilla. Bold and elegant in the mouth with a rich structure and aromas of dried fruits. Well balanced with a long and spicy finish.

If you look on the Baron de Sigognac Vintage Armagnac chart, you can see they categorise it as a powerful and expressive Armagnac whose main flavours are spices with rancio notes (the nutty, savoury aromas and flavours that develop with age). There is a good description of Rancio notes in Cognac / Armagnac at Difford’s Guide.

Baron de Lustrac 1965 Vintage Armagnac

In addition to Baron de Lustrac we also supply Baron de Lustrac 1964 Vintage Armagnac. Baron de Lustrac is another small, artisan Armagnac producer who specialises in the sourcing and bottling of older Vintage Armagnacs.

Baron de Lustrac 1965 Vintage Armagnac Label

Baron de Lustrac 1965 Vintage Armagnac is presented in an old-fashioned Armagnac bottle and wooden box, these rare vintage Armagnacs are available in strictly limited quantities. Each label is inscribed with the year of distillation, the name of the Domain of production, the bottle number (they are usually single cask bottlings) and, where relevant, the grape variety.

Baron de Lustrac 1965 Vintage Armagnac has a good, deep, mature golden brown colour. It has a very complex nose with aromas of dried fruit (prunes, raisins), leather, tobacco, nutty and caramel notes. The palate is concentrated and rich with a good freshness. There is some fruit and spicy, rancio character with a long and complex finish.

Read about how Vintage Armagnac is regulated.

Brew Day Experience

@ The Brewhouse & Kitchen

Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth

Wednesday 14th January 2015

For a recent birthday, I was very kindly given a Brew Day Experience and, having got Christmas out of the way, I spent Wednesday 14th January learning all about brewing at a fantastic micro-brewery in Portsmouth. The Brewhouse & Kitchen used to be a pub called The White Swan and is located next to the New Theatre Royal in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth. The pub was colloquially known as “The Mucky Duck” and this name lives on today by being used as the name for one of the beers brewed on site.

The Brew day Experience at The Brewhouse & Kitchen, Portsmouth is essentially a day spent learning all about the brewing process and how to brew beer in a micro-brewery environment. Resident head brewer at The Brewhouse & Kitchen is Thomas Voggesser, a young German brewer, who, at time of writing has been in the position for just 4 months. He has undertaken a three year degree course in brewing and has previously worked at a large brewery in Germany. I imagine working at the Brewhouse must be a bit of a culture-shock for him as here he is basically a one man operation.

The Brewhouse & Kitchen Micro-Brewery
The Brewhouse & Kitchen Micro-Brewery

Our day started at 10am. I attended with three colleagues and there was one other person in attendance, so four of us in total, just about the right number. I think a couple more people would have made it a bit crowded. Thomas gave us a quick tour around the various tanks, coppers and pipes so we could briefly familiarise ourselves with the equipment, what did what, where the various pipes went etc. and then we got started. We were going to be making a Golden Ale called Guildhall.

The Brewing Process

The Beer Making Process 1The Beer Making Process 2

First up is preparation of “the mash”. Malted barley, in this case two different types of barley from Baird’s Malt, has hot water (hot liquor) added, is stirred and is then left to sit for one hour. This extracts the sugars from the malt grains which the yeast will use as the basic substrate for the fermentation process. After sitting for an hour, the liquid from the mash is run off into the copper, washed with with more hot water, and the first of two different types of hops are added.

This is now known as “the wort” and is boiled for 1 hour in the copper. For the last 10 minutes of the hour’s boiling, a second, different batch of hops is added which again gives more flavour. If I recall, the first type of hops added was called Columbus and the second was named Mt. Hood. I asked Thomas about using USA ingredients and as I understand it there is much larger selection of different types of hops with varying characteristics (allowing more control over flavours in the beer) available from the USA. I guess this is understandable, after all there the micro-brewery  / craft beer scene is much older and much more common in North America than in the UK.

Dried Hops and Malted Barley
Dried Hops and Malted Barley

After the wort is boiled in the copper it is cooled via a heat exchanger and pumped into the fermenter. Yeast is added at this stage and the wort then ferments away for 5 days at 19c. During the fermentation period the yeast converts the sugar to alcohol – the Guildhall would have eventually an ABV of 5%. After 5 days, the beer is cooled and left to rest for a further 5 days before finally being run off into plastic barrels – these are firkin sized, holding approximately 41 litres, and are rested and stored in the cellar until ready to pour (you can see, these they are the bright orange ones in the photographs at the end of this post.

Sampling Staggersaurus from the fermenter
Sampling Staggersaurus from the fermenter

Thomas normally makes a total of 12 different Brewhouse beers and there are 6 different beers available at any one time although there are one-off brews as well. During the day, as you can appreciate, there is a bit of downtime whilst things are boiling etc. and this time wasn’t put to waste – we tried all the beers that were available and also had some lunch (which was included in the Brew Day experience). Personally, I particularly enjoy the darker ales, there was a dark IPA called Black Swan and a very good porter, the name of which escapes me. The lighter styles of Sexton and Matcham’s (named after the architect, Frank Matcham, who designed the theatre next door) were also very good. At the end of the day each person is allowed to pick a 5 litre mini-keg from a selection of whatever beers are available at the time, or you can come back in about 20 days time and pick up a mini-keg of the beer that you actually made on the day. I chose a mini-keg of Staggersaurus, an IPA abv 4%. (my colleagues chose a Matcham’s and the Guildhall we had a hand in making). This is from a range of beers that Thomas makes for a Portsmouth company called Staggeringly Good. Their dinosaur-themed range of bottled beers also includes Thai-Ranno Citrus IPA flavoured with kaffir lime leaves and Post Impact Winter Darkness and Extinction Black IPA – both flavoured with chili, the Extinction is the strongest.

Beer Tasting at The Brewhouse & Kitchen 2

Thomas is a very knowledgeable and engaging person. We all had a very enjoyable day out, learned a fair bit about brewing and came away with 5 litres of very good beer. The Brew Day Experience is a great day out. Highly recommended to anyone with more than a passing interest in beers and brewing!

Is My Vintage Armagnac Genuine?

I recently had a conversation with a customer about the provenance of our vintage Armagnac. The gist of the conversation was about how we could guarantee that the vintage Armagnac he was purchasing from Fareham Wine Cellar was genuine and that it is actually from the from the vintage on the label. Of course, I have been asked the question before and I am normally able to answer most questions sufficiently, but this time I thought I would try and delve a bit further. After all, most people who are buying vintage Armagnac are buying it as a gift – it is usually a one-off transaction with us, perhaps online, and therefore it is not like we have a long relationship with the customer. However, we do have a long and trusting relationship with our suppliers.

At Fareham Wine Cellar we sell vintage Armagnac principally from two of the main specialists in producing, sourcing and bottling older vintage Armagnac, Baron de Sigognac and Baron de Lustrac. We also sell smaller amounts of brandy from Domaine Boingneres and from Armagnac Janneau. We buy all of these directly from their appointed UK agents, Eaux de Vie (a trading name of Marussia Beverages UK Ltd.) for Lustrac, Sigognac and Boigneres, and John E Fells for Janneau. We have been buying spirits from Eaux de Vie for nearly 20 years, and they have been dealing directly with the Armagnac houses for longer than that.  John E Fells and Janneau are long-established companies. So I think it is safe to assume that all of the Armagnac we supply is directly sourced through the correct channels.

You don’t just need to take my word for it though! In Armagnac there is a regulatory body called Le Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac (BNIA) which regulates all aspects of Armagnac production from distillation, through to ageing and bottling. The BNIA groups together all Armagnac professionals including independent or co-operative producers, negociants (ageing and trading), distillers and brokers. Their mission, from the BNIA website, is to,

  • Provide technical and practical assistance to all of the professionals
  • Carry out all possible studies and research concerning the production and commercialisation of Armagnac Eaux-de-Vie and more widely, gather economic, technical and statistical information (permanent monitoring of the market and production…), necessary for the professionals
  • Control the quality of the Eaux-de-Vie produced and for sale and ensure that the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée rules are being adhered to
  • Carry out the collective promotion of Armagnac
  • Carry out the actions assigned by the supervising Ministries, particularly in terms of regulations.

Perhaps this is succinctly summed up best by Neil Mathieson, Managing Director of Marussia Beverages UK Ltd, in a recent email,

“I believe it is all very simple and quite strict! The totals of Armagnac held by every stock holder within the region are registered to the centilitre with the BNIA… …this includes if they are in glass or tank (so no further loss) or in wood (liable to evaporation at the standard allowed rate). Depletions, i.e. stock movements to another registered holder or bottlings are registered on a monthly basis and the figures adjusted. The BNIA and Excise (DGCCRF) division for fraud then conduct internal audit on stockholders; any differences could lead to automatic reduction of all vintage or nominal aged aged stock to cpte 10 (ten years old).”

So there you have it. Vintage Armagnac has to be accounted for to the centilitre (10ml) by both the BNIA and French Excise / Customs. The penalty for fraud is for a producer to have all their vintage Armagnac recategorised as 10 Year Old Armagnac – a massive financial penalty. I think you might agree that this would be the end of the road for any such producer.

I hope this answers any questions that you might have about the regulation of vintage Armagnac but please do feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Please browse our list of Vintage Armagnac and see if we have one from your birth year!

Spring & Summer Wine Courses 2015

World of Wines Course @ Lysses House Hotel

51 High Street Fareham Hampshire PO16 7BQ

Daria Kenefeck, who works at Fareham Wine Cellar, has taught a wine course in the local area for a number of years. There are three wine courses per year running roughly during school term times on a Thursday evening. The wine course involves some wine education followed by a tasting. There are also various themed evenings, the occasional blind tasting and sometimes guest speakers.

The classes start at 7.00pm and finish at approximately 9.15pm. If you are interested in attending either the Spring or Summer course please contact Daria at Fareham Wine Cellar, telephone 01329 822733. Or email if you have any further questions.

Please note you will need to bring at least 5 wine tasting glasses and writing implements. Payment must be made at the beginning of the course. The short Summer course is an ideal taster course if you are not sure if you wish to commit to the longer Spring course.

Spring 2015 Wine Course

This will be a 10-week course, starting on Thursday 15th January 2015, finishing on Thursday 26th March 2015, with a one week break on Thursday 19th February

Details

Length: 10 weeks

Cost: £7.00 per night for the course and £6.00 per night for the wine

Therefore £70.00 for the course plus £60.00 for the wine, Total £130.00

Start date: Thursday 15th January 2015

Mid-term break: Thursday 19th February 2015

Last evening: Thursday 26th March 2015

Course Code: LHSP1510

Summer 2015 Wine Course

This will be a 4-week course, starting on Thursday 7th May 2015, finishing on Thursday 28th May 2015.

Details

Length: 4 weeks

Cost: £7.00 per night for the course and £6.00 per night for the wine

Therefore £28.00 for the course plus £24.00 for the wine, totalling £52.00

Start date: Thursday 7th May 2015

Last evening: Thursday 28th May 2015

Course Code: LHSU154

There is a car park behind the hotel, and should this be full for any reason, there is a public car park opposite which is free after 6.00 pm.The room used for the class is on the first floor, but there is a lift available.

Louis Jadot 2013 En Primeur Wine Tasting

Saturday 17th January

3pm until 5.30pm

@ Fareham Wine Cellar

This is a pretty informal wine tasting, please just visit our shop between 3pm and 5.30pm on Saturday 17th January if you would like to try some of the Louis Jadot 2013 En Primeur wines.

There will be special En Primeur prices for wines ordered on the day. As an En Primeur offer, customers will pay for the wines only – the duty and the VAT will be due when the wines are delivered to the UK which will most likely be late 2015 / early 2016.

We have a small selection of Louis Jadot 2013 En Primeur white wines with and a few more red wines to try. These include a few of my favourites. There is the superb Clos de Rochegres, a Moulin A Vent made at Jadot’s Chateau des Jacques property in Beaujolais. A stunning wine that will gracefully age for up to 20 years. There is the single vineyard Pouilly Fuissé from Domaine Ferret, an estate recently bought by Jadot, which produces some fantastic wines. Then there are a couple of ever reliable, affordable red Burgundies, the Santenay Clos de Malte and the Beaune Boucherottes 1er Cru.

Louis Jadot 2013 En Primeur White Wines

Pouilly Fuissé “Clos des Prouges” Tete de Cru, Domaine J A Ferret

Meursault Les Tillets

Louis Jadot 2013 En Primeur Red Wines

Clos de Rochegres Moulin A Vent, Chateau des Jacques

Cote de Nuits Village “Le Vaucrain”, Domaine Louis Jadot

Monthelie “Sous Roches”, Recolte des Domaines

Santenay Clos de Malte, Domaine Louis Jadot

Beaune Greves 1er Cru, Domaine des Heritiers Louis Jadot

Beaune Boucherottes 1er Cru, Domaine des Heritiers Louis Jadot

 

If you would like to read more about the 2013 vintage, there is a vintage report from the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) press conference at the Hospice de Beaune 2013.

To see our current selection of Burgundy wines, please visit our website.

Tenuta Villa Trasqua

The Wines of Villa Trasqua

Tenuta Villa Trasqua is situated in the locality of Trasqua in the very heart of the Chianti region, just a few kilometres to the south-west of the famous small city of Castellina in Chianti. From the estate one can see the historic, walled, medieval, hilltop village of San Gimignano.  They produce a range of terroir-driven Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva and IGT wines. The estate covers some 120 hectares of which 50 hectares are planted to vine and 10 hectares are planted with 3000 olive trees (they also make a very fine extra virgin olive oil). Wines from the Chianti Classico sub-region are generally considered to be where the most premium Chianti wines come from. The wines from the Castellina region tend to have very delicate aromas and flavours, there are exceptions, of course.

The vineyards of Villa Trasqua are located on the slopes of a very large natural amphitheatre called Trasqua (hence the name) which has its own microclimate – the south-facing aspect allows the vines full exposure to the sun in the daytime and allows for a cooling affect as the breezes roll down the surrounding hill during the night. 95% of the vines are planted within this natural amphitheatre which has a mixture of sandy and clayey soils. The main red grape varieties Chianti Classico Black Roostergrown at the Villa Trasqua are Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Alicante Bouschet (unusually), Colorino and Malvasia Nera. For the white wines there is some Vermentino and there is is also a rosé wine made from Sangiovese grapes. Chianti Classico wines must be made from at least 80% Sangiovese and, from 2006, no white grape varieties are permitted to be used in red wine production. One can read the full rules and regs at the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico website, the regulatory body for Chianti Classico who use the famous Black Rooster as their logo.

Tenuta Villa Trasqua was originally founded and the first vines planted in 1965. Most recently, the estate was purchased by its current owner, Dutch industrialist Hans Hulsbergen in 2001 and there has been considerable investment in the vineyards, winery and cellars. Within 2 years of the new ownership, the winery has won a coveted 2 bicchieri (glasses) in the famous Gambero Rosso Italian wine guide. All wines are fermented in 50 hectolitre wooden vats with minimal intervention. The company philiosphy, “wine is made in the vineyard”, is based on attention to detail in the vineyard, the production of fully ripe and aromatic grapes and traditional wine-making techniques. The current oenologist and wine director at Villa Trasqua is Swiss-born Andreas Stossel who joined the company in 2005 from another famous Chianti estate, Fattoria Valtellina.

Villa Trasqua Visit 2 © Rick Medley
© Rick Medley

 

In October 2014 Tony & Daria Kenefeck took a wine tour to Tuscany including a visit to Villa Trasqua. The photos of the vineyards you find in this article are taken by local photographer Rick Medley who has given me permission to reproduce them here, please have a look at his website if you have a moment.

Villa Trasqua Visit 1 © Rick Medley
© Rick Medley

 

At Fareham Wine Cellar we stock the following Villa Trasqua wines

Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico DOCG Evoluto Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico Evoluta

This Chianti Classico is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and the remaining 5% Colorino and Malvasia Nera. Chianti Classico must have an abv. of at least 12% and at least 7 months aging in oak. This wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for 18 months and 3 months in bottle prior to release.

Villa Trasqua Evoluto has an intense ruby red colour with lighter garnet highlights. The nose is fruity and delicate with aromas of dark berries, black cherries and some toasty oak, spicy clove and liquorice notes. The palate is smooth, well-structured and medium-bodied with balanced acidity and youthful tannins.

Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva FanaticoVilla Trasqua Chianti Classico Fanatico Bottle

100% Sangiovese. Chianti Classico Riserva must be at least 12.5% abv. and has to be matured for at least 24 months in oak and a further 3 months in the bottle prior to release.  In this case the wine is fermented in cone-shaped wooden barrels and aged for 24 months in French oak barrels and 3 months in bottle prior to release.

Villa Trasqua Fanatico has an intense ruby red colour.  The nose combine delicate, fruity notes of dark berry, black cherry with hints of wood, spice and chocolate. The palate is full-bodied, smooth with more cherry, berry and chocolate flavours. Well-structured with a long dry finish and good tannins.

Villa Trasqua Trasgaia IGT

This is the estate’s “Super-Tuscan”, a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. The term was first coined to describe a new wave of wines (led by Antinori’s Tignanello) that were made using no indigenous grapes and wine-making techniques not allowed under the restrictive Chianti DOC regulations. Fermentation is in cone-shaped wooden barrels and the wine is aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels, and 6 months in bottle prior to release.

Villa Trasqua Trasgaia has a deep, ruby red colour. The nose has aromas of coffee, cocoa, blackberry, cassis, ripe plums, toasty oak, vanilla and hints of smoke and spice. The palate is full and well structured with velvety tannins. There are fruit flavours, more hints of cherry, dark berries, spice, cigar-box and oak and it has a long, persistent and well-balanced finish with good acidity.

 

1975 Vintage Armagnac

Are you looking for a 40th Birthday Present or 40th Anniversary present in 2015? 1975 Vintage Armagnac would make a superb present. At Fareham Wine Celler we supply vintage Armagnacs from many years dating back to the early 1900s. There are vintage Armagnacs from most years as, unlike wine or Port production, the quality of brandy is less vintage dependent. Obviously the vintage does have an effect on the starting product, a fairly basic white wine, but the ageing of the brandy in oak barrels, and the time the brandy is aged, arguably has more effect on the finished product.

Why not see if we have one from your birth year here?

At Fareham Wine Cellar we sell Armagnac from two producers who specialise in the production of single vintage Armagnac – Baron de Lustrac and Baron de Sigognac.

Edit 28/04/15 We also some some Janneau 1975 Vintage Armagnac at present.

Baron de Lustrac 1975 Vintage Armagnac

Baron de Lustrac 1975 Vintage Armagnac Label

Baron de Lustrac works with a number of small producers and growers and oversees production and ageing of their spirit – this allows them full control over their Armagnac. Only the finest eaux de vie from the best terroirs are used in the production of Lustrac’s vintage Armagnacs. Once distilled the colourless spirit is aged in 420 litre oak barrels. It is here, in barrel, that the Armagnac leaches vanillins and tannins from the toasted oak which lend the spirit colour and flavour. The depth of colour and complexity of flavour increase all the time the spirit is aged in cask, the colour can range from pale straw to rich amber. As Armagnac ages it becomes darker in colour and softer, smoother and more elegant on the palate whilst aromas and flavours of prunes, violets, fig, honey, butterscotch and rancio develop.

Their brandies are presented in an old-fashioned Armagnac bottle and wooden box, these rare vintage Armagnacs are available in strictly limited quantities. Each label is inscribed with the year of distillation, the name of the Domain of production, the bottle number and, where relevant, the grape variety. Baron de Lustrac 1975 Vintage Armagnac is presented in a wooden gift box with a hinged lid.

Buy Baron de Lustrac 1975 Vintage Armagnac.

Baron de Sigognac 1975 Vintage Armagnac

Baron de Sigognac 1975 Vintage ArmagnacThe Owners of Baron de Sigognac, The Guasch family, have been in Gascony since the 12th century. They have owned the Château at Bordeneuve since 1974 and are one of the region’s largest courtier and negociant operations. Today the father-and-son team of Jean-Claude and Thomas look after viticulture, vinification and distillation. The Domaine is almost unique in the region as all its production is distilled into Armagnac instead of wine. There is one short column still at the Domaine (almost 100 years old), which produces up to 50 to 60 casks of new spirit annually. The wine is distilled on its lees, and drawn off at 55 to 58%, depending on the harvest. Distillation is continuous through day and night and manually controlled to account for temperature and humidity changes. Once distilled the colourless spirit is aged in 420 litre oak barrels. It is here, in barrel, that the Armagnac leaches vanillins and tannins from the toasted oak which lend the spirit colour and flavour. The depth of colour and complexity of flavour increase all the time the spirit is aged in cask, the colour can range from pale straw to rich amber.

Baron de Sigognac 1975 Vintage Armagnac has a amber colour with mahogany highlights and a fine nose with aromas of cinnamon and raisins. Fine and elegant in the mouth, well balanced with aromas of dried fruit and a lightly spicy finish. Presented in a smart wooden box with a sliding lid.

Buy Baron de Sigognac 1975 Vintage Armagnac or see how the vintage Armagnac from your birth year compares here.

If you are looking to an alternative to Armagnac we also have Grahams 40 Year Old Tawny Port.

Baron de Sigognac Vintage Armagnac Chart

Baron de Sigognac are one of the top suppliers of Armagnac and specialise in older Vintage Armagnacs. We supply a wide range of their Armagnacs dating back to the early 1900s.

Thierry Beaumont from Baron de Sigognac gave me permission to post this Armagnac Vintage Chart which they have created to show how the various vintages compare in terms of their various main characteristics. You can cross reference the 5 main tastes – spices, fruits, bakery, floral and green – with three different weights ranging from fine, light and easy to drink to classic, rich and well-balanced up to the more powerful and expressive vintages.

Follow the link below to open the PDF file and check what the main characteristics of the Vintage Armagnac from your birth year are.

Baron de Sigognac Vintage Armagnac Chart

Armagnac is arguably France’s second most famous brandy, after Cognac, and tends to be richer, fuller-bodied and more powerful than the often more delicate, floral Cognacs. However, with age, Armagnacs become very soft, smooth and mellow indeed and often offer much better value for money than their rather more fashionable cousin.

Baron de Sigognac Armagnac Label

Baron de Sigognac has been owned by the Guasch family since 1974 and the family can trace their roots in Gascony all the way back to the 12th Century. They are now one of the region’s largest courtier and negociant operations and specialise in sourcing and bottling older vintage Armagnacs. The Domaine is unusual in the Armagnac region as all of its own production is used to distil Armagnac – they do not produce any wines at all. The distilling is done using a 100 year old short column still which produces around 50 to 60 casks of new Armagnac per year. The spirit is then left to quietly age in their cellars until the father-and-son team of Jean-Claude and Thomas either decide to bottle the Armagnac as single vintage Armagnac or use it one one of their fantastic blends – they do 10, 20, 25, and 50 year old blends, as well as a fantastic Platinum XO. Read more at the Baron de Sigognac website.

See all of our vintage Armagnacs, including those from Baron de Lustrac, here.

Winchester Cocoa Company Christmas Truffles

Edit 23/02/15 Winchester Cocoa Company website is now live. You can now shop online.

The Winchester Cocoa Company makes fine handmade chocolates in Winchester, Hampshire with some ingredients bought from Fareham Wine Cellar (Goyard Vieux Marc de Champagne and Pussers Blue Label Rum 40%). This is a new company formed by Chris Attewell and where possible he tries to use local ingredients – fresh cream from a herd of Guernsey cows near Winchester, Summerdown Hampshire mint oil, teas from Char Teas in Winchester. He has also recently made a chocolate flavoured with Twisted Nose Gin distilled in Winchester.

For more information about the Winchester Cocoa Company and matching wine and chocolate please follow my earlier blog post. There you will find lots of ideas for matching wines, particularly with Ports, dessert and fortified wines – these seem to make the best matches.

For Christmas 2014, chocolatier Chris has created a gift box containing 12 Christmas truffles, 2 chocolates of each of the following flavours,

Silver Foil – Marc de Champagne. Milk chocolate ganache flavoured with Goyard Vieux Marc de Champagne

Lilac Foil – Christmas pudding. Pusser’s rum ganache with christmas spices, citrus zest and sherry soaked raisins

Orange Foil – Grand Marnier and cinnamon. A Grand Marnier ganache centre, dusted with cinnamon sugar

Brown / Copper Stripes – Hazelnut and nutmeg. Piedmont hazelnut liqueur ganache, spiced with nutmeg and coated with caramelised hazelnut pieces

Red with Gold Stars – Whisky and orange. Tomintoul 14yr single malt ganache with crystallised orange pieces

Ruby Red – Sea salt caramel. Liquid caramel truffles made with Cornish sea salt and Madagascan vanilla

All of the Winchester Cocoa Company chocolates are made in small quantities.

Available whilst stocks last in the the run up to Christmas 2014.

Winchester Cocoa Company Christmas Truffles 2014

Winchester Cocoa Company Christmas Truffles

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