There are several legends about the origin of Armagnac. Learn more in our article.
Armagnac is the oldest wine spirit produced in the southwest of France, in the heart of Gascony. Obtained by distilling white wine in an Armagnac still and aged for many years in oak barrels before marketing, it is offered in blends (of several eaux-de-vie from several vintages or, specific to Armagnac, in vintages (a single vintage year).
How to taste Armagnac
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Armañac VS:the 3-star (***), also called Armagnac VS, is the youngest Armagnac. French regulations stipulate that Armagnac VS must be made from a blend of eaux-de-vie, the youngest of which has aged in wood for at least one year. It will taste great in cocktails, in cooking, as an aperitif or digestif.
Armañac VSOP: Very Superior Old Pale (*), very superior quality, old and pale. This is the exact translation of this name, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon commercial tradition. VSOP Armagnac is made from a blend of eaux-de-vie, the youngest of which has aged in wood for at least 4 years. Taste in cocktails, as a gourmet pairing before or after a meal, or as a digestif.
Armañac XO:The trade name XO (meaning extra old) is composed of Armagnacs aged for at least 10 years. XO, very popular abroad, is less known in France, where it will nevertheless delight lovers of elegant, rich and smooth eaux-de-vie. Enjoy an Armagnac XO as a gourmet pairing or as a digestif.
Origin of Armagnac
Now that we have seen what Armagnac is and how it is tasted, let’s learn a little about its origin. There are many legends that confirm its origin, but there is a very particular one.
In the 11th century, in a monastery in Armagnac, two lay brothers (religious servants of a convent) named Claud and Clet were in charge of supervising the aging of wines from the tithes of the Nogaro and Auzan region.
At the end of a siesta, they wanted to prepare a mulled wine in the French style. They began to heat white wine in a covered saucepan when an unwelcome visitor interrupted their operation. They put the liquid back in the barrel from which they had taken it and forgot about it….
Five years later, at the end of a banquet given in honor of the visit of Monseigneur l’Archevêque d’Auch, the Abbot (director of the Monastery) and his guests happened to taste the white wine from the famous little barrel.
The guests were very surprised when they tasted a nectar with quince and violet ethers. When questioned, the two conversationalists had to confess their lack of finesse.
The lid of the pot had kept the alcohol steaming – the two brothers had obtained eau de vie! The culprits were forgiven and warmly congratulated for their discovery. Armagnac was born…
We’ll be back with more legends about Armagnac, but for now, we’ll leave you with a couple of cocktails to try.
No conduzca bajo los efectos del alcohol. Consuma con moderación.