Cognalternative Session #3
Grape of the Art#1 Le Frêche 2007 13yo 57%
Let’s begin with GotA’s first bottling, a young Bas-Armagnac from l’Encantada cellars, and more precisely Le Freche estate. It’s a 13yo brandy bottled at 57%, so not the usual gentle ABV. Quite promising…
Colour: Amber, gold lights. Heavy irregular tears.
Nose: Vivid fruitiness on plums liquor at first. Very oaky nose. A tad of saltiness on green olives. Dusty notes of sawdust. Hints of fruitiness on young apricot/tangerine underlined by a strong acidity (something like verjus).
Mouth: Generous fruity notes on young bananas and apple stew. Nice chocolate shades underlined by spiced ginger aromas. A tad flowery on jasmine and violet blossom. Vine peaches notes in the aftertaste.
Last Notes: Quite heady on orange blossom and juniper now. Spiced notes on coriander and cardamom. A little varnished wood in the background, but the strong oaky notes have vanished with air, even if it remains rustic on sanded plank scents. Strong roasted notes back on the palate on burnt wood and roasted hazelnuts. A dash of cinnamon. Oakier than the nose. It ends on bitter chocolate and coconut powder.
Nice young armagnac. Aside from a lack of precision, it gives you a generous tasting, full of roasted and fruity notes
Grape of the Art #2 Séailles 2000 20yo 54%
Another armagnac now, another GotA’s selection, but quite older and probably very different from the first one. This Seailles is a 20yo Tenareze bottled at cask strength (54%). Well, let’s taste this second cognalternative.
Colour: Amber, orange lights. Heavy regular tears.
Nose: Nutty and chocolate notes at first. Chestnut cream and cocoa powder. A tad of heady scents on orange liquor. Full of prunes with more air. A little dusty but far less than what I previously tasted in the armagnac world. Refined orange peel and bitter chocolate notes.
Mouth: Sweet texture, a little oily in the aftertaste. Ample bitter chocolate notes. Very elegant and surprisingly smooth (54%, just to remind you). Liquid chocolate aftertaste. Less fruity than what I expected, but you still find orange peel shades melted to fresh kiwi juice notes. Quite precise. Very rum-like by some aspects, especially with its great balance between fruitiness and empyreumatic notes.
Last Notes: Generous pastry/buttery notes on pasteis de nata and almond paste, followed by quite logical nougat scents. Smooth spiced notes on bourbon vanilla. Fresh ground coffee notes in the background. A small touch of fruitiness again, this time on kirch cherry. Still magnificent chocolate aromas. Creamy shades of cappuccino in the aftertaste. Yes, obvious coffee bitterness now. A tad of tobacco too. Cigarbox notes. It ends with chocolate liquor and linseed oil notes.
This Seailles 2000 is still an armagnac in the DNA, but with a great refined touch. Even more chocolate-focused than the Dartigalongue Folle Blanche 1993 in my humble opinion.
Well, I’ve been told that there’s not only armagnac that comes from grapes. Yes, hope to hear from GotA soon…