A simply delicious cask strength vintage Armagnac from Domaine Boingères. Domaine Boingnères has been in the Armagnac business since 1807, during which time they have been run by six generations of the same family. The distillery’s vineyards are tiny, over 50 acres. Of those acres, about 20 are used for cultivation of Colombard and Ugni-Blanc grapes, whilst 34 are devoted to production of Folle Blanche. Folle Blanche is a notoriously difficult grape to grow, but it is also renown for its delicious, spicy and oily qualities that are ideal for Armagnac. The Domaine has traditional continuous stills that look a little bit like pot stills as they have 6 wide plates inside. They often distill as low as 52%, meaning they do not have to dilute the spirit at all before it goes into the cask, and the flavours are all the more intense for it. Domaine Boingnères make a point of not chill filtering any of their Armagnacs or adding any caramel colouring.
Considering that the distillery only fills about 40 barrels a year (even though the stills run 24/7 during the 20 day distilling season) it is astonishing that these super-aged vintages are available. Because the stills must be kept running at all times, the Domaine hosts dinners and parties with family and friends that run late into the night, pausing only when a barrel must be replaced. The casks are less toasted than is standard, to allow the flavours of the grape to shine through. They are then matured in a barn on the Domaine’s grounds. This particular expression is a testament to the Domaine’s breathtaking craft, with a beautifully floral and rich nose, followed by an intense, oak-led and fruity palate. The finish lingers, demonstrating the spirit’s great age with a long, toasty woospice and dried fruit.