DARTIGALONGUE FOLLE BLANCHE 1993 46,3%
CLOUD NOGARO : THROUGH THE TOFFEE RAIN
Founded in 1838, Dartigalongue is a famous armagnac house located in Nogaro, in the bas-armagnac region. Usually a part of the assemblage in Dartigalongue production, the Folle Blanche quality is sometimes high enough to be bottled as a single grape armagnac. It depends on the year conditions. The millesime 1993 was one those perfect years for the Folle Blanche, so here is the Dartigalongue Folle Blanche 1993 !
Colour : Old gold, orange lights. Regular medium tears.
Nose : At first, caramelized nuts, toffee, praline, milk chocolate. Almond paste. Welcome to the bakery ! Candied fruits. Caramel and violet sweets. Red berries infusion. Gingerbread. Raisins. Then a little bitterness and a great spiciness are appearing. Sweet notes of cinnamon. Bitter chocolate. Candied lemon. Grape juice. A bit similar to a young ruby port wine nose but way rounder. A lot of finesse, despite the cliché depicting armagnac as more rustic than cognac.
Palate : Very sweet texture, a little syrupy and oily. Beginning with fresh and floral aromas. Menthol and fresh licorice. Orange blossom. Then it goes on pastry notes, as a pleasant answer to the nose. Orange zest caramel. Gingerbread again. Bitter chocolate. Praline. Dried fruits/fruit paste. Roasted almond. A little dryness on walnut pie. Orange liquor. Everything is said with precision and elegance in this Dartigalongue Folle Blanche 1993. Fresh licorice again. Dry prunes. Fig jam. Chocolate/chestnuts paste on the after taste. Truly a great one.
Last Notes : Cocoa powder. Violet syrup. A dash of honey. Candied pear. The nose is still very convincing. Light tobacco scents. Toasted bread. Is this the perfect drink to pair with your breakfast ? Just kidding. A nice acidity on the palate now, especially on balsamic notes. A praline and toffee rain. Vanilla cream. Cinnamon and cardamom. Orange zest. Dry fig. Something between nougat and gingerbread. It ends on fresh and spicy notes. Menthol, Sichuan pepper, maybe some anise too. Folle blanche at its finest, not so far from the 100% Folle Blanche cognac version, such as the Grande Champagne 2003 and the Fins Bois 2006 from Grosperrin (even if these ones are younger, I find that they show the same spicy/floral expression).
Everything is well-balanced in this 27yo armagnac. The ABV (46,3%) seems to be at the perfect height to underline the whole finesse of this beautiful product. In my opinion, this Dartigalongue Folle Blanche 1993 could easily convince a rum lover, a whisky lover, even a hot chocolate lover. Three levels above the La Haille 1988 (which isn’t a bad armagnac at all).
My very subjective note : 88+/100
As for cognac, the Folle Blanche isn’t the main type of grapes (Ugni Blanc 55%, Baco 35%) produced for armagnac distillation. As for cognac, a single grape product made of Folle Blanche isn’t a common thing (even if it’s a bit more usual for armagnac).