Armagnac 1933 Sempé
Has been specially bottled for Jim McCourt, Glass shoulder button
Provenance: Christies London, 2/23/1998
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Armagnac is France's oldest and most prestigious wine-based eau-de-vie. In the 16th century, it was sold over the counter in pharmacies as a "medicine". Armagnac began to be aged in oak barrels in the 17th century. Nowadays, the Armagnac region can be divided into three production areas: Bas-Armagnac, Ténarèze and Haut-Armagnac. Unlike Cognac, Armagnac is comprised of a broad palette of grape varieties, each very different, allowing for a very particular aromatic balance: Bacco adds to the wine's structure and lends it full-bodied, rich and dense aromas that require long ageing processes to fully express their roundness, smoothness and length on the palate. Folle Blanche, on the other hand, provides freshness and fruitiness in the first years of ageing. Ugni Blanc, ideal for distilling, as well as Colombard, are the final names on the region's list of most common grape varieties. When aged for 15 years or more, Armagnac displays flavours of hazelnut, orange peel, cocoa, and prunes combined with aromas of rose, verbena, leather, vanilla and even cinnamon. These Armagnacs are very dense and rounded and fully express their soil. After 25 years, Armagnacs lose their potency and mellow. Their original character gives way to oak barrel fragrances and their length on the palate becomes truly remarkable.
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The Pleasure of Sharing
Their Eaux de vies mostly come from the Bas-Armagnac, the most famous region that covers a part of the Gers and the neighboring Landes. The selected white wines are preferably at a low degree of alcohol and are distilled only once between 53° and 65°. The distillation takes place once the fermentation is finished to obtain aromatic Eaux-de-vie that are complex and suitable for aging in oak. The reputation of their Armagnacs lies in an outline followed by their Cellar Masters and Distillers. Good acidity in the wines, gentle and regular heat in their alambic, high-quality oak barrels with the right toasting. These key elements will give them beautiful, smooth and round Eaux-de-vie that retain the fundamentals of the terroir and their unique character. Balance and a long finish characterize their Armagnacs. Sempé’s golden rule – the pleasure of sharing. This philosophy is simple but demanding. It is the guiding thread of the brand since 1934.