L'Encantada "Le Frêche" 29 Year 1989 Vintage Armagnac
L'Encantada is an independent bottler that started as a bunch of Armagnac loving friends who decided to do something about the fact that there was so much great undiscovered brandy consistently just being sold to negociants (large non producer houses) to be hidden away in boring, young, watered down blends. So they started offering small estates a premium to retain some of their stock as single barrel, cask strength selections for them to bottle in their natural state, without any additives. They quickly made quite a name for themselves, showcasing impressive vintages from previously unknown estates, true Armagnac nerds' Armagnac.
Aside from the bottlings of cult favorite "Lous Pibous", Domaine "Le Frêche" is probably L'Encantada's most celebrated discovery, and like the Pibous, the name doesn't refer to a real Domaine per se, but rather a particular stock of casks from an undisclosed producer in the town of Le Frêche. But wherever it truly comes from, what is clear is that this is stellar brandy. On the nose, the immense oak influence is apparent, but after a few minutes settling in the glass, it isn't overpowering, and there is also marmalade, fresh berries and cream, tobacco, black pepper, and vanilla. On the super rich palate, there are tart red berries, apricot, and a mingling of drying oak and sweet wild honey. The finish creeps in and slowly reveals an earthy element alongside oily walnut. Bottled at a cask strength of 50.1% abv.