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Darroze launches 'Les Grands Assemblages'

Synonymous with quality, family and tradition, the Darroze name has now been added to a unique new range of Armagnac blends called Les Grands Assemblages.

Traditionally known for its unique range of single estate Bas-Armagnacs where the company works with approximately 30 different individual estates, this new range adds a different dimension to the diverse products and styles on offer.

Grown out of several reasons, including a demand from customers looking for younger armagnacs of the highest quality that are good value for money, Les Grands Assemblages can respond to this need particularly with the 8 year old which is the youngest in the range.

For several generations, the Darroze family has been searching out and selecting the finest Bas-Armagnacs, yet nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to find top quality old vintages, although Darroze is still able to source wonderful old blended eaux-de-vie that have therefore forfeited their original vintage. A vintage being an armagnac that is 100% produced from that one year only.

Les Grands Assemblages consists of seven extremely well balanced, high quality Bas-Armagnacs with great character. The younger the blend, the more aromas of fruit, whilst the older the armagnac, more the notes of ageing will take over. Each of the blends has been selected from the Bas-Armagnac area from different estates to those used for the single estate range. The age on the bottle indicates the age of the youngest armagnac in the blend.

8 year old (43%) - This blend with very little wood influence displays a predominance of fruity aromas along with a variety of other flavours including prunes, candied orange zest and quince. A straight armagnac that is highly strung yet nevertheless smooth and enveloping. You can drink this armagnac as an aperitif with or without ice.

12 year old XO (43%) - After 10 years ageing in oak, Armagnac starts to take on the aromas of ageing. The fruit that is still present is accompanied by the first aromas of soft spices such as liquorice and cinnamon. Still quite lively, this eau-de-vie will become more complex after a few minutes breathing in the glass.

20 year old (43%) - This Armagnac is full of life and displays a lovely character. Already the alcohol is tamed; the tannins more refined and the aromas take shape. It is certainly the most wonderful age for the armagnac enthusiast who appreciates the force and the maturity.

30 year old (43%) - Maturity begins. The fresh fruit is transformed into dried and candied fruit. The spicy character asserts itself. The first aromas of 'rancio' appear and the alcohol is perfectly mellow. This Grand Assemblage is the perfect example of magnificent balance that one finds in eaux-de-vie of this age.

40 year old (43%) - At 40 years old, the Armagnac's style is definitely apparent. The quality of the oak used is very important and the right use of a quality barrel will bring complexity and finesse to the Armagnac.

50 year old (42%) - The age of reason. According to the freshness and the balance of the Armagnacs of this age, it is sometimes time, at the end of 50 years to stop the barrel ageing. However, the use of barrels that have been exhausted of their tannins over many years in contact with the eau-de-vie is still possible. The aromas of chocolate, leather and roasted notes are characteristic of these very old eaux-de-vie.

60 year old (42%) - An Armagnac of 60 years old is eternal. It is rare to find an eau-de-vie that continues to express such character after so many years. This blend is the result of a long and delicate selection that has allowed Darroze to preserve only those Armagnacs that have travelled through time without a single wrinkle!


1 October 2011 - Felicity Murray