1995 The Rare Armagnac Collection "Venus" (Domaine de Pouchegu) 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Vintage Armagnac (750ml) (Previously $120)

SKU #1390664

The Rare Armagnac Collection is a new small scale bottler seeking to unearth rare and unique Armagnacs from small estates across the region that would otherwise not be available. We're extremely lucky to have stumbled upon them and this first parcel that they acquired from the famous estate in the best part of the Ténarèze. We first visited Domaine Pouchegu in 2013. There Pierre Laporte was matter of fact about what made his Armagnacs so good. Lots of care in the vines, good amount of sable fauve in the soils, highering the best distiller and a commitment to purchasing high quality new Limousin oak every vintage. His meticulous attention to detail was obvious the moment we first tasted those special brandies. What we didn't know at the time was that this Master of the Art was battling cancer. Less than a year after that first meeting, Mr Laporte had succumbed to cancer. His illness had not been a secret, but we did not realize the severity of the condition. Since then his brandies have become legendary among our customers and beyond. After repeated attempts to contact his successors, our friend Charles Neal sent us word that he'd located the stocks. Luckily for us they were still in barrel and unblemished by low quality blending or adjustment of any kind. The Rare Armagnac Collection bottles without additives or reduction. Unfortunately, this bottle does not have Mr. Laporte's name or his domaine on it, but these bottlings preserves perfectly that man's incredible legacy.

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By: Cameron Price | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/14/2019 | Send Email
The Venus should be served out of an elegant, designer perfume bottle. Spiced peaches and cinnamon dance in the nose with promises of clean tasting experience. That experience is a smooth and spicy palate that warmly coats the tongue in sizzling joy.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/3/2019 | Send Email
One of the most striking things about Pierre Laporte's eau-de-vie is the incredible diversity in flavors the various vintages offer. This special brandy, bottled at an astonishing 56.2% abv, is in a completely different range than it's older sibling. It's a few shades lighter and the aromatics follow suit. Much fresher than the '80, with gorgeous ripe apricot, tropical spices, lacquer box, Seville orange peel, grated ginger. On the palate, the heat, big spice and strong vanilla are in full force. The bold citrus adds and almost acidic tone, which I don't mind, but gave me an idea. I almost never recommend adding water to brandy. It doesn't have the same opening affect that you'd experience on a single malt, but I highly recommend the tiniest dab of water here. If you want to be precise, maybe 6 drops to an oz. The effect is a spirit so much more complex and balanced than the full strength offering and the oily rich texture remains without "breaking" as they sometimes do. Careful as we're really trying not to dilute, as soon as you see the oils reacting stop. After water, the sweet fruit explodes from the glass tempered by a savory almost gamey spice. On the palate the acidity has developed into structure and actually much more spice comes through. If the '80 was an ultra sherried speyside monster, this '95 would be an a sublimely elegant yet totally out there Islander - a totally different story but no less exciting!

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/12/2018 | Send Email
I've heard the story of Pierre Laport from the Davids for the last 5 years. A lament for the loss of a great man and a great stock of brandy. My only exposure to the juice itself was the 1986 bottling we had back in 2014. Getting to explore these two bottlings from The Rare Armagnac Collection today is a real treat. The intensity of the new Limousine oak is spectacularly balanced by the added intensity of the high proof (56.2%). The robust Baco from which the brandy is distilled provides enough backbone to stand up to the massive wood spice and long aging. At 23 years old, this Armagnac is a glorious example of the function of time on complexity, but it never sacrifices the sweet and candied fruit that makes Armagnac so appealing.

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- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


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Alcohol Content (%): 56.2