Charron 12 Year 2007 Vintage Cask Strength Bas-Armagnac
Domaine de Charron, located in tiny Perquie, Landes (the same village as our beloved Chateau de Ravignan) is a small producer, distilling just 4-6 barrels a year from their 12 hectares of Baco grapes. The brandies are bottled traditionally, without any reduction, additives, or coloring. One of the great qualities of Armagnac made from Baco is its ability to work wonders when trading with oak during the long years of barrel aging, and Charron is a fantastic example of this. This affinity for oak is taken to the next level by the domaine, aging entirely in new barrels, which are left untouched once filled - no topping off and no blending of the vintages during the aging process. This makes their process more akin to Bourbon producers than to almost any other Armagnac producer (the mysterious and lauded Lous Pibous stock being a notable exception). The proprietor, Claude Lartigue, stands apart from the general model of producers in the region, who for the most part have been making Armagnac on their family land for generations. Claude began in the industry buying and selling barrels of Armagnac here and there, before eventually purchasing the Baco vineyards that he produces from today.
This 2007 vintage aged for 12 years in new oak before being bottled at a cask strength of 51.3% abv. If ever there was a single bottle of Armagnac more perfectly suited to bring in a Bourbon drinker, it's hard to imagine a more perfect candidate than this. The comparisons to the well loved and sought after Lous Pibous is inevitable, and apt. The concentration of flavor and intensity of aging in new oak are both there, and well balanced with the essential fruity character of any good armagnac. The nose opens with spiced cherry, orange oils, salted caramel, sandalwood, rich, fresh pressed apple juice, cedar, and honestly - gummy bears. On first sip, it's like riding through an orchard in a sugar coated oak barrel. As you ride through, you get flavors of apple juice, apricot, honey nut cheerios, cinnamon, red hots, maple, and a hint of savory herbs. It's a robust and complex sipper to be sure, but if you're up for a bit of whimsy and love an extravagant cocktail, it'll make a killer Manhattan too. But you didn't hear that from us.