Friday, January 4, 2019

Armagnac Review: Château de Pellehaut 28 Year 1989/2017 100% Ugni-Blanc

Not a whole lot to say about Pellehaut that I haven't already said. This is from an earlier era when they were primarily distilling ugni-blanc grapes as opposed to folle-blanche. This is another purchase from Astor Wines in NYC that is currently unavailable, though it seems like they've gotten multiple parcels of 1989 vintage casks with progressively more recent bottling dates, so something similar may show up sooner or later.

This brandy was distilled from 100% ugni-blanc grapes in 1989, filled in a new oak cask, then bottled at 49.9% without coloring, chill filtration, or additives.

Château de Pellehaut 28 Year 1989/2017 100% Ugni-Blanc

Nose: lots of spicy oak, cedar, caramel/maple syrup, dried fruits, floral vanilla, dark chocolate, a little savory. After adding a few drops of water it gets softer and sweeter with more balanced oak, the maple syrup turns into honey, and the savory notes integrates with the wood.

Taste: balanced grape and cask sweetness up front, moderately tannic and spicy oak with dried fruit in the background beginning in the middle, turning bittersweet at the back with a little heat. After dilution it becomes sweeter throughout, the oak takes a more balanced back seat, and the grape notes pop more at the back.

Finish: long but fairly simple - spicy oak tannins, background grape sweetness, and a savory fade out

There are a lot of similarities between this and the slightly younger folle-blanche cask I reviewed earlier. I think the balance it tipping towards the oak here, so it reads as a little less expressive to me. It really makes me wonder what the even older 1979 vintage bottle I have will be like, but we'll have to find out later.

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