Domaine Tariquet’s 12-year-old Armagnac Folle Blanche scores again

Domaine Tariquet’s 12-year-old Armagnac Folle Blanche scores again

For the second time, Domaine Tariquet’s 12-year-old Armagnac Folle Blanche was awarded a grand gold medal and a Revelation trophy at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, a landmark moment in the history of the competition.

On an estate covering 1,125 ha, Domaine Tariquet produces both PGI Côtes de Gascogne and an impressive range of AOC Bas-Armagnacs. Armin and Rémy Grassa’s belief in the future of Armagnac continues to grow, and every year they distil more Armagnac than they sell. 100 hectares are earmarked for production of this ancient brandy.  Domaine Tariquet houses over 23 years of stocks in 228- or 400-litre barrels, totalling 5,000 barrels divided between 6 cellars.

Every year we take part in several long-standing competitions in different parts of the world. The 24 medals we have won at Spirits Selection since 2013 and awards from other competitions help to reassure our customers and show them that there is no change in the quality of our products“, comments sales director Ithier Bouchard. “Winning this prestigious accolade for the second time at one of the strictest competitions is useful in terms of recognition, particularly as barely 3% of products entered in the competition are awarded a grand gold medal, and 0.6% a Revelation. To be honest, we had not fully appreciated the significance of this award”.

The single varietal Folle Blanche Armagnac was already awarded a Revelation trophy and grand gold medal at the 2017 competition. What makes this Armagnac so special?

This is due to several factors. Folle Blanche is a grape variety that exudes fruity and spicy notes. We quickly distil the wines on fine lees in suspension in order to avoid any oxidation when they are in their early youth. We are used to distilling at low ABVs of between 53 and 56°.  As they mature, Folle Blanche brandies lose some of their alcohol content. During blending, we select barrels containing Armagnacs that are at least 12 years old, and do not reduce alcohol content. In general, the final blend ABV is 48°, and we have found that 12-year-old Folle Blanche shows best at this ABV. It is therefore cask strength. Not all Armagnacs are suitable for cask strength, they need substance so as not to burn the palate.

The 12-year-old Armagnac Folle Blanche is bottled at cask strength of around 48°. It shows at its best at this ABV.

This 12-year-old Folle Blanche Armagnac appeals to many connoisseurs, because it has the liveliness of an 8-year-old Folle Blanche and the fine maturity of a 15-year-old Folle Blanche.

The 12-year-old Armagnac Folle Blanche is bottled at cask strength of around 48°. It shows at its best at this ABV.

Château du Tariquet

Château du Tariquet

Brandies are tending to make a come-back, is this something you focus on at production and PR/marketing level?

Although the present-day image of the estate is traditionally associated with wine and wine has boosted its reputation significantly, Armagnac has always played a part in its philosophy, personality and development. Tax documents attest to the fact that brandies were being distilled at Tariquet as early as 1683. Out of the estate’s 1,100 hectares, 100 are dedicated to Armagnac, 25 of which are planted to Folle Blanche, making it one of the largest family estates in the appellation. We tell people about our roots and are not making any changes to our approach.

Our range of Armagnacs is around fifteen strong. All of our products are selected from the barrel, when they are ready. We mustn’t rush things.

 

Have you sold more Armagnac recently?

Sales have been on the increase for 10 years, countries are opening up to our products and we are growing in mature markets such as France. Our range of Armagnacs is around fifteen strong. All of our products are selected from the barrel, when they are ready. We mustn’t rush things.

What is your best-selling Armagnac?

The XO Armagnac, also referred to as Hors d’âge in the French market.

 

Where can you buy the single varietal Folle Blanche 12-year-old Armagnac?

Many wine merchants sell it.  In France alone, we have over 4,000 trade customers. It has been listed with Air France Business Class for 4 years.

Armagnac spans the generations and requires patience and foresight.

What are your plans for your vineyards and distillery in the future?

We make a single varietal Folle Blanche white Armagnac, which is unique. We introduce it to barmen but what they do with it is up to them – we don’t provide them with recipes. Our estate is HVE certified. We continue to invest in our cellars. Armagnac spans the generations and requires patience and foresight. We plant for future generations, which is also how we distil.

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