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  • NV Francis Darroze Bas Armagnac Les Grands Assemblages 12 ans d'age

    Had it at a tasting; Marc Darroze helped host and told us about it. They use three grapes, Ugni Blanc, Baco, and Folle Blanche, and are a negociant firm that blends from various wine growers in the Bas Armagnac region of Gascony (Gascogne). Darroze is located in Roquefort.

    This is their website: http://www.darroze-armagnacs.com/index.en.html

    In comparison with cognac, Armagnacs tend to keep the flavors of the terroir whereas cognac tries not to; Armagnacs are single distilled and Cognacs do a double distillation. Both use the Ugni Blanc grape, but Armagnacs also use the two others.

    The twelve year is yellow to golden yellow in color; Darroze reports that it has 10 years in contact with oak. I could taste floral and some fruits (like black fruit) and some liquorice and cinnamon.

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  • 2008 Céline & Laurent Tripoz Mâcon-Loche Les Chênes

    Light yellow color; I don't think we can buy it state-side, but we brought this biodynamic (organic) Chardonnay back from our honeymoon several years ago where we visited Monsieur et Madame Tripoz and Laurent conducted our wine tasting. Was very pleasantly surprised it survived the trip and two moves. Serve chilled.

    Light yellow in color, vanilla, green apple butter, buttery, some green herbs/light mineral (shale? flint?) and quite mature. Pretty long taste for a chardonnay. Lightly to medium neutral French oak. It's from the Mâcon area of Burgundy, the furthest south, so it tends to have more flavor and intensity than say Chablis.

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  • NV Rémy Martin Cognac XO Excellence

    Bronze in color, very nice vanilla to neutral French oak with strong vanilla nose and taste. Some kind of berry and floral taste, hard to pinpoint (maybe like subtle black currants or blackberry?) with like Valencia orange (think of Sunkist's chocolate covered orange or English orange marmalade, but less sweet), very slight sweetness. Long finish.

    Stats: 40% alcohol by volume, 70 cL = 700 mL. Won 2008 Gold World Spirits Competition and Silver 2010 International Wine and Spirit Competition. Remy Martin's website reports: Rémy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac is a blend of Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie (at 85%) and Petite Champagne spirits (15%). The Cognac consists of over 300 different eaux-de-vie, which have been aged in oak casks between 10 and 37 years.

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