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- Armagnac Marcillac
Armagnac Marcillac Vintage Collection 1964
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Armagnac Marcillac 1964: Flawless Maturity
The Ugni Blanc grapes used for this Armagnac were harvested in the month of October 1964 before being pressed and left to ferment naturally. The Armagnac Marcillac 1964 was then distilled the following winter in a specific continuous alembic still: a vintage pure copper apparatus that was endorsed in 1818 by a stove maker in Auch, Sieur Tuillière, under the reign of King Louis XVIII, and adapted over time by the region’s distillers. With such a history, you know this release will be memorable.
On leaving the alembic still, the eau-de-vie is transparent, with an alcohol percentage between 52% and 60%. At this moment, the Armagnac is highly aromatic, with fruity and floral notes; the subsequent maturation in oak casks provides complexity and increasing softness. The vessels chosen for this Armagnac were 400-litre black oak casks from the forests of Gascony. After around six years in new wood, the eau-de-vie was transferred to older barrels in order to avoid an excessive extraction of tannins and continue a slow evolution of flavor: refined aromas of vanilla and prune, complemented by a rich rancio character.
The vintage of an Armagnac corresponds exclusively to the year of harvest. Although some brands offer wonderful blends between vintages, Marcillac only bottle pure vintages. This Armagnac from the 1964 vintage has spent 55 years in oak barrels and is one of the best releases from this estate yet, likely due to exceptional acidity in the wine that year. Only 500 bottles have been produced, a number of which will be released in 2020.
Located in the Lot-et-Garonne region near the city of Agen, the Marcillac Armagnac estate dates back to the 12th Century when it was founded by Prémonté monks. The monastery was acquired in 1730 by a wine merchant from Bordeaux who restored it and converted it into a castle, which was fashionable at the time, and focused on developing the vineyard and wines. The current family acquired the estate in the year 1900 and started distilling wine to make Armagnac following the exact same vinification, distillation and aging processes that the monks followed centuries before.
The sandy, gravel-rich soil of Lot-et-Garonne is similar to that of Bas Armagnac, producing Ugni Blanc grapes that result in powerful Armagnacs which are superior for aging. The old chapel at the castle, made with thick stone walls, provides the perfect location to age eaux-de-vie for extended time periods. Combining the wonders of a superb region with the perfect conditions for aging, you simply can’t fail to get a great result. Today, the production at Marcillac is run by Robert, fourth-generation winemaker on the estate. Although he has brought some innovation and modernity to the company, he still strictly makes his Armagnac using traditional methods.
Presentation of the Bottle
Shown in the ‘basquaise’ bottle style that is timelessly popular with Armagnac, the Marcillac 1964 has been hand-sealed with wax following traditional methods. The box is natural wood, heightened with just a light varnish to keep a classic appearance. The rose gold color used for the logo is not only elegant, but also contrasts subtly with the color of the liquid in the bottle.
How to Enjoy Armagnac Marcillac 1964
Like most other vintages, this expression is best served as a digestif. For an indulgent tasting experience, pair with a plum tart and a strong coffee. Pour into a tulip glass, but let the spirit rest up to a minute before taking a sip, to allow its aromas to fully develop. After decades of waiting, it would be an injustice to rush this tasting experience.
Very Nice Armagnac
Very nice Armagnac complex aromas due to nice ageing and smoother than I had expected. I bought it for a special occasion but it became my go for option.
Love the packaging!
This Armagnac is highly aromatic, with fruity and floral aroma, complex but soft on the palate.very balanced and smooth finish.
An amazing vintage!
I tasted Armagnac Marcillac the first time during a cigar and Armagnac pairing event in Tokyo, it is powerfull yet smooth. It reminded me of this famous painting by Claude Lorrain. I enjoyed a lot.
A defining moment that switched me from Cognac to Armagnac
To be honest, as a Cognac connoisseur, I picked this bottle of Armagnac because its packaging. I love the way its modern wooden casket gradually reveals the ancient mousquetaire's cross as I open it and stage it before serving the precious liquor to my wife and friends. Probably and somewhat unconsciously it signaled the promise that fond memories would spring from the past into my busy life. And that is exactly what I experienced with the glass.
Armagnac is Cognac PLUS: Same wonders coming from the fine alcohol aged in a perfect wooden barrel for so many years, PLUS an incredible richness of flavors and perfumes tracing back to the very grapes and the very soil and the unique year it was harvested from. While the Cognac process eradicates these subtle sources by boiling the wine twice to 90 degrees, the Armagnac process cherishes and keeps defining wine traces through the ages by boiling it to 70 degrees only and only once. This shows down through the tears in that bottle.
No wonder why the French true liquor connoisseurs from Gascony fall in for Armagnac and its infinite diversity and leave the norther more standard Cognac to the foreigners. This Armagnac Marcillac 1964 will remain to me as THE bottle that switched me from Cognac to Armagnac. Good bye Cognac, Bonjour Armagnac !
Definitively recommended and actually surprisingly cheap for the value.
Excellent Armagnac from a small producer
Excellent Armagnac from a small boutique producer. Not easy to find online, I am glad to see this product available on CE. Tasted in France during a trip to Gascony, we enjoyed the complexity and evolution of this Armagnac. Good price as well considerinig its over 55 years old. The packaging makes it a perfect gift.