Wednesday, September 26, 2007

France's Hidden Jewels

Sometimes our reputation precedes us. This can lead to an embarrassment of riches.
Yesterday evening Denis Lesgourgues, the owner of the single largest estate in Armagnac, dropped by our store. Chateau de Laubade holds more land than any other vine grower in the region and has since 1974. They produce a lovely VSOP Armagnac bottled after 6 to 10 years which could legally qualify as an XO), and an XO Armagnac bottled between 15 and 25 years old. These are lovely, refined spirits, distilled predominately from Folle Blanche (although there is Bacco and Ugni Blanc as well). He also poured several single vintage Armagnacs (1982, 1977 and 1952). These older brandies were made mostly from Bacco, which they feel age better over the long term.

One thing that happened, while our visitor was here, was that this young Frenchman just marveled at our selection of Armagnacs. One thing that he pointed out is what tremendous value we’re offering, rather accidentally, on these lovely brandies. We made our purchases, for the most part, when the dollar was stronger, so our prices are much lower than, perhaps, they ought to be. This was certainly nice to hear.

About five minutes after the Monsieur Lesgourges left us, Herve Pellerin from the Calvados house of Lecompte stopped by. He had been prompted by our good friend Charles Neal, who told him he had to see our store. Before he started marveling at our Calvados selection, we told him about our previous visitor. “Denis was here? I must call him!” he said, breaking out his cell phone and tried to call him, but apparently was exiled right to voice-mail.

Herve poured his 2 year old Calvados, a brilliantly fresh and lively spirit that smelled like an apple orchard in early Fall. Sadly, his Calvados isn’t yet available in the US, but we can expect to see it sometime next month. We love Calvados around here, and we can’t wait until it turns up.

No comments: