Armagnac: Domaine de la Poste

100% Ugni Blanc with Darroze’s Domaine de la Poste, which very quickly made a name for itself, as far as I can tell/ my small bubble is concerned.

Darroze Domaine de la Poste 1987 34YO (49%): Nose: Extremely floral with lavender, violets and other fragrant flowers. Then sweet peaches and other related stone fruits, juicy oranges, a mix of nuts, cola perhaps, more citrus, a touch of ginger, common balm and what you might call a right amount of wood. Palate: Slightly drier, a bit “darker” and stronger on the spices. The orange is still very prominent and is joined by dried oranges and orange peel, the floral notes from the nose (especially violet), ginger, the balm and now also different spices such as cloves, nutmeg, pepper or cinnamon. Later also sugar or agave syrup, yogurt and hay. Pretty darn good if you ask me. Finish: Long with wood, hay and the spices from the palate. Here and there the stone fruits pop up as well. Excellent stuff that can make for both, easy drinking and complex sipping, depending on your mood. I think I prefer to take my time with this beauty though. (89/100)

Darroze Domaine de la Poste 1976 45YO (48%): Nose: Very dense and concentrated with esters (think tropical fruits), glue, antique furniture, coffee, sweet honey, bitter walnuts, dried oranges, a whiff of Earl Grey tea (yeah, that note of bergamot!), now more and more coffee, cocoa even, furniture polish and leather. This is very, very good stuff that sets me back to high ester Demeraras. Think Enmore Wooden Coffey still, only that we didn’t get many EHPs of this quality. Palate: This totally gets me. A light, almost fragile distillate that is full of flavour – both, intense and complex. Those chocolate like notes are joined by Amarena cherries and its syrup, subtle wood, leather, plums, dates, candied ginger, frozen strawberries, muscovado/ molasses, pears and a spice mix including vanilla, cloves, cardamom and whatnot. Very good! Finish: Long but not as complex as the palate anymore. Here you notice the light character of the distillate, even though aromas such as wood, old furniture, boot polish and vanilla are still very present and pleasant. A super interesting, yet still dangerously easy to sip Armagnac that leaves little to be desired. (92/100)

Darroze Domaine de la Poste 1975 46YO (48%): Nose: Let’s make no mistake here, this is by far the weakest and least aromatic bottling of the bunch. Ripe and dried oranges, old but polished wood, while we are at it: wood polish, some more waxy notes, fermented walnuts, leather and oak. It is alright but nothing special. Palate: Very well balanced and much better than the palate suggested. Milk chocolate or sweet Latte Macchiato, fresh tea leafs, different forms of oranges, cardamom, wood, rich sugar and polished boots. I really don’t know what bothers me here. I mostly miss the intensity and complexity of the other vintages I guess. Finish: Long with cocoa, walnuts, oak, different spices and raw licorice. Despite all the negativity we should recall that this is still solid, good even, but when judged against the greatness of the other de la Postes, this one definitely loses out. (84/100)

Darroze Domaine de la Poste 1974 47YO (48%): For me, the vintage 1974 will always be linked to Port Mourant, which was simply stellar. How about the French brandies then!? Nose: Quite fruity and ester heavy with fresh pineapple, citrus, that Schwarzwälder Kirsch-like mix of chocolate and cherries, spices such as anise or turmeric, clearly also mint, oak of course (heavily charred in its aroma, but definitely not in its dominance), mixed pickles and the ultra soft floral notes. This sure is one complex fella and I cannot think of many Yaks where we’ve had so many different notes to discover. Palate: Thick and creamy with a certain waxyness that reminds me of Clynelish. It almost has something furry, even moldy to it, but certainly only in terms of its texture. Then a mix of nuts (walnuts, almonds), ripe quince, dates, dark wood, mossy and herbal notes from the forest, a salt and pepper mixture (salty popcorn perhaps). Later also dried, partially tropical, fruits (peach and mango), coconut chips and the grapes. Excellent stuff! Finish: Quite to my surprise, shorter and lighter than expected. A peppery sweetness stick around and grapes, oak, herbs and spices come and go. If this were a Whisky, this would be a Clynelish. In Rum terms, Long Pond might be my call. No matter what, this is a superb, old Armagnac that lost a wee bit in its finish. (91/100)

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