It’s been a long time we’d not write about Armagnacs, and the brand new bottler Grape of the Art recently made some noise with their two first releases. If you don’t know, Le Frêche is an undisclosed distillery, Armagnac world seems to have their own Caroni eh. These labels with black bottles are looking amazing, we now need to know if the juice is also!
Grape of the Art Le Frêche 2007-2021 (57%, cask #43, 150 bottles)
Colour: Light copper.
Nose: The alcohol integration could’ve been slightly better. That’s fruity with plums, dried apricots, mangoes, raspberries, oranges. Then we have caramel candies, brown sugar, vanilla, hazelnuts and nuts. Pleasant nose despite the alcohol integration to start the session.
Mouth: Very spiced, too spiced. Wood, tannins, ginger, chilies, butter caramel, lemons, white pepper, orange peels, grapefruits, tobacco, buns, grilled hazelnuts and toffee.That’s complex but lacks a bit of balance due to the spicy notes overpresence.
Finish: Long and slightly bitterish. Burnt wood, almonds, tobacco and leather.
This one refers me to some heavy agricole oldies such as Ballys for example. Some flaws are lowering score but it remains a pleasant Armagnac.
Grape of the Art Séailles 2000-2021 (54%, 195 bottles)
Nose: That’s different, very different and I already prefer this one’s profile even if it’s less fruity. Plums, burnt rubber, hazelnuts, pecan nuts, dark chocolate, marzipan, vanilla, espresso, mocha, toffee, tobacco and leather. My words should inspire you some similraties with rum, isn’t it?
Mouth: Pleasant thick texture. Plums, sultanas, spices, ginger, chilies, black grapes, burnt rubber, bitter smoke, blackberries, brown sugar, overcooked caramel and candle wax. Really gourmand mouth with familiar aromas (from Demerara & Caroni), perfectly fitting with winter season!
Finish: Long enough and refined. Vanilla cream, honey, ashes, raspberries, toffee and burnt wood.
A very refined Armagnac, stunning quality and balance with aromas that talks to me. Good job for this very nice selection!
If you’re a huge fan of Agricole rhum you will probably enjoy Le Frêche more than I did. That’s a great start for Grape of the Art, I really regret I wasn’t fast enough to catch a Séailles 2000 bottle! Next step for GotA : St Lucia island with a 2005 vintage co-bottled with RumX, review will be out soon. Cheers!