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Delord 2006 Bas Armagnac Arrives

As always at this time of year we bring to our shelves a vintage Delord 2006 Bas Armagnac that was harvested 18 years ago. It is the youngest vintage that we stock, and the perfect gift for those turning 18 this year.  Vintage spirits, such as cognac, armagnac and calvados, will always increase in value over time as only a limited number of bottles were ever produced. Once they have been drunk, there will be no more. The armagnac will not deteriorate once put into glass as the seal will keep it the same as the day it was bottled (although we do recommend resealing bottles every 20 years). The reducing supply, however, means that the value of vintage brandies is increasing all the time and being recognised as a shrewd investment.

Giving vintage armagnac as an 18th Birthday present gives the recipient choices. Either to keep, drink and enjoy or, keep as an investment for years down the line when 2006 armagnacs are far more difficult to obtain. So if you know someone who was born in the year that Italy won the FIFA World Cup and ‘Borat’ was released, this Delord 2006 Bas Armagnac could be the gift for them.

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

December is well underway so its time to turn our attention to present shopping. But, what do you buy for the person who has everything? Well, we’ve put together a list of our favourite, luxury drinks that will go down a storm this Christmas. Not only do they taste fantastic, some of the packaging is exquisite and will grace any sideboard with aplomb.

The three, classic French brandies of cognac, armagnac and calvados really come into their own at this time of year as their typical flavours of roasted nuts, spices and dried fruits complement the Christmas fayre brilliantly.

We have selected 5 of our favourites to feature here but go and explore our website, there are so many Christmas Luxury Gifts from which to choose.

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Hermitage 50 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac

Winner of The IWSC Cognac Trophy 2021, this masterpiece is still in cask. The Judges described it as “Like opening an old leather-bound book or antique oak armoire. Figgy pudding and rich dark chocolate; wonderful rich spices and the bitterness of orange zest come through on the palate. Spicy but gentle and supremely dry.” RRP £531.60

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Toutain Reserve Odile 60 Year Old Calvados

This exclusive bottling pays tribute to Odile Toutain who, 60 years ago, took over Domaine de la Couterie. Distilled in 1959, it was carefully aged for 60 years in the family cellars before a limited edition of only 234 bottles was released. Presented in a beautiful carafe, sealed in a wooden housing, this is a truly rare gift. RRP £1164.60

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Darbeau 1943 Bas Armagnac

Steeped in history, this 1943 Bas Armagnac was distilled during the height of World War II when many wonderful brandies were requisitioned by the occupying forces. Few survived but this wonderful example of a top cru armagnac s one of the few that remain. Distilled 70 years ago, it epitomises history in a bottle. RRP £1908.00

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Hermitage 1923 Grande Champagne Cognac

Imagine life a century ago, that is when this stunning cognac was made. Tasting cognac from that era is a extra special treat, especially when, according to Olly Smith, Wine & Spirits Expert, it “has a gorgeous flavour, somewhere between a sultana and a sun-dried apricot with the spirit framing the layers with impeccable integration.” RRP £2086.40

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise Crystal Decanter

The icing on our Luxury Christmas Gift Guide cake! A masterpiece of smoothness, aged for 70 years in oak barrels, it is described by Victoria Moore of the Saturday Telegraph as “Likely to be one of the finest cognacs you have tasted.” This litre of amazing cognac is all wrapped up in a completely hand-blown and hand-cut, full-lead luxury English crystal decanter. What more could you ask for? RRP £2220.00

Montal 1962 Bas Armagnac

Montal 1962 Bas Armagnac

A one off addition to our Montal range has just arrived; the Montal 1962 Bas Armagnac. The grapes for this armagnac were harvested in 1962. What a wonderful year of birth, but then we are rather biased at Brandyclassics Headquarters! It is rare to find these old bottles of Montal Armagnac so this is another gem.  It comes from the top cru, is presented in a very attractive bottle and has fruity flavours with toffee and coffee on the tail.

So, what else happened in 1962?

It certainly found its place in history as the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis but many other events occurred also. In the US / Russian space race, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 and a UK / US team won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work in determining the structure of DNA. There were lots of firsts in the music world too; the Beatles signed their first contract and released their first single ‘Love Me Do’ and The Rolling Stones gave their first performance at the Marquee Club in London. The first James Bond film ‘Dr No’ premiered in London and on the golf course, Jack Nicholas won his first major after a play off with Arnold Palmer. It really was an exciting year to be born, and those who were, share their birth year with Tom Cruise.

If you are thinking of buying a vintage from 1962, take a look at our other offerings:

Castarede 1962 Bas Armagnac

Delord 1962 Bas Armagnac

Armagnac, The Thinking Woman's Brandy

thinking woman's brandyMarch is a month that celebrates women, with International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day well established in the worldwide calendar.  Jane McQuitty has been writing in The Times about the relationship between women and armagnac.  Not dissimilar to cognac, armagnac is made on a continuous column still and its lower distillation range, of between 52 – 72 % ab, allows a greater fruitiness in the spirit, although sometimes at the expense of refinement.  She heralds the many female armagnac producers including our very good friend Florence Castarede, the sixth generation of her family to produce the very fine Castarede Bas Armagnac.  The article also quotes another friend of ours, Amanda Garnham, who lived and worked in the Armagnac region for decades.  Amanda said that “Armagnac is the thinking woman’s brandy ”.   An interesting analogy that might refer to someone you know!

So, if you are still looking for a Mother’s Day gift, take a look at all the wonderful armagnacs we have to offer.  Many are vintages, labelled with the year they were harvested and come from the top cru, Bas Armagnac.

Magnums of Armagnac for Claridge's Hotel

MagnumsJust in receipt of these beauties.  Three magnums of Bas Armagnac, from the highly respected producers Castarede and Delord, will soon be on their way to Claridge’s Hotel in London.  No doubt they will look spectacular in the newly refurbished hotel.  Did you see the recent documentary on BBC 2, Claridge’s, following the most amazing transformation of the hotel whilst it remained open?  Well worth a watch!

Of course, the hotel provides beautiful surroundings if you would like to pay a visit to try one of these superb armagnacs in situ.  But if a trip to London is not on the cards, you could whet your appetite by reading the tasting notes or purchasing one of our 70cl bottles online.  The links can be found here: Castarede 1965 Bas Armagnac Castarede 1980 Bas Armagnac  Delord 1970 Armagnac


Bas Armagnacs from 1987 and 2005

Bas ArmagnacsThe latest Bas Armagnacs to join our stocks are these two vintage beauties: Chateau de Bordeneuve 1987 and Delord 2005.  Distilled in the year printed on the label, they come from two of the most respected armagnac producers and the grapes were grown in the top cru of Bas.

The 2005 is the youngest vintage that we stock, and a perfect gift for those with an 18th birthday this year.  Vintage spirits, such as cognac and armagnac, will always increase in value over time as only a limited number of bottles were ever produced so once they have been drunk, there will be no more. The brandy will not deteriorate in the glass as the seal will ensure it stays the same as the day it was bottled (although we do recommend resealing bottles every 20 years). The dwindling supply does, however, mean that the price of vintage brandies is increasing all the time and their purchase is becoming recognised as a shrewd investment. Buying vintage armagnac as an 18th Birthday Present gives the recipient choices. Either to keep, drink and enjoy or, keep as an investment for years down the line when 2005 armagnacs become rare and highly sought-after.


New Vintage Armagnacs – Castarede 1983, 1986 & 1987

Vintage ArmagnacsAll from the top cru, Bas Armagnac, we have another three wonderful vintage armagnacs from one of the very best producers, Castarede.   Said to be the oldest business in Armagnac, having been founded in 1832, they own the Chateau de Maniban estate and supply armagnacs grown on their 16 hectares of vineyards.  Four main armagnac grape varieties of Ugni Blanc, Baco, Folle Blanche and Colombard are grown.  All vintages, distilled in 1983, 1986 and 1987 respectively, have been aged for over 35 years.  Take a look at the delicious tasting notes below.

Castarede 1983

Aroma: Guava, passion fruit and cedar.

Flavour: Light and mellow. Flavours of angelica and elderberry with sour apple.

Castarede 1986

Aroma: Celery, palm leaves and a hint of cedar.

Flavour: Dried apples and angelica with a long finish of dried apricot.

Castarede 1987

Aroma: Unusual aromas of pineapple leaves and green tea.

Flavour: Delightful flavours of dried greengage, sage and crystalised mandarin.

New Vintage Armagnacs – 1949, 1972 & 1985

New Vintage ArmagnacsIt is always good to receive new products for our customers and this week we have three new vintage armagnacs to introduce.

Castarede is one of our favourite suppliers of Bas Armagnac, they are also one of the oldest producers of armagnac in Gascony.  Here, the vines grow on poor and acidic clay loam soils with pockets of iron elements that colour it reddish brown. This area produces light, fruity, delicate and highly reputed eaux de vie, from which the armagnacs are distilled.  The latest 1985 and 1972 vintages, distilled 35 and 50 years ago respectively, have these qualities in abundance and for those looking for a 50th birthday gift, you need look no longer!

We also have a rare 1949 vintage produced by Baron de Sigognac, not long after the end of the war, in the year that the NATO Treaty was signed in Washington DC.  This Bas Armagnac is harmonious and elegant on the palate, powerful and well balanced with a long, smooth vanilla finish.

Valentine’s is Just Around the Corner ……

Valentine'sRoses are red,

Violets are blue,

Surely one of these gifts,

Should be given by you ……..


This month’s offers include something for everyone.  We have a wonderful vintage, premier cru cognac from Hermitage.  The 1988 Grande Champagne has flavours of roasted walnuts, spice and toffee.  From armagnac we have a vintage Delord 1990 which has a handwritten label and wax seals to make it a very special gift.  And for the gin lover, a very special, organic, tangerine gin all the way from Mosgaard in Denmark.  Go on, spoil each other!

Armagnac Crus

armagnac crusArmagnac is produced in the south west of France in the departments of Gers and Landes in the region known as Gascony. The region has very little industry and the landscape is relatively flat, very green and the people are friendly, living an altogether quieter life than those in Cognac to the north. Indeed, most of the land is given over to agriculture and perhaps well described by Nick Faith, the famous writer on French Brandies, as the land of Fois Gras.  An ideal base for armagnac crus.

The climate is perhaps a little warmer than in Cognac but still enjoys the temperate conditions so necessary for growing grapes. These are made into wine and then distilled into the oldest spirit in the world, armagnac. It was perhaps made famous by the French musketeer d’Artagnan and immortalised by Alexandre Dunas.

There are three armagnac crus, the smallest is Bas Armagnac. However, whilst it is the smallest in land mass, it is the largest armagnac production region making around 57% of all the armagnac produced. The department is in the north west of the region, closest to the Atlantic where, millions of years ago, the sea washed in sandy and silty soil which now produces some of the finest armagnacs. These fine spirits are fruity, light and delicate and regarded as the best armagnacs in the region. The main town in the Bas department is Eauze, a small market town where the BNIA can be found.

To the East of Bas is the second cru of armagnac known as Ténarèze. The department is slightly bigger than Bas and in the centre lies the town of Condom with its beautiful buildings and Armagnac museum. The cru comprises about 40% of all the armagnac vineyards and the armagnacs produced here tend to develop much slower than those in Bas. The clay and limestone soil produces rich and fruity spirits which are often used whilst relatively young to make generic blends.

The largest cru is Haut Armagnac. It surrounds Ténarèze on three sides, north, east and south and the main town is Auch which is in the centre of the region. The cru is often referred to as white armagnac as the soil contains an abundance of limestone. The viticulture was developed here in the 19th century to meet the high market demand but has since dwindled away to only a few producers who make largely uninteresting armagnacs.

Whilst armagnac is not so well known as its big brother cognac, it is a beautiful spirit.  It has many rich and fruity flavours, the most common being prune, which can often be identified in the Delord range.  They are one of the older producers in the region situated in the top cru, Bas Armagnac.