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Grape of the Art

Armagnac Rounagle 1986

Discover the wild side of flavor with Grape of the Art's latest, most daring release yet! Born from a serendipitous encounter at Domaine Rounagle and inspired by a spirited P-Trading Card game with Hilaire, the young son of the estate's owner, we present to you the Rounagle 1986. Dedicated to Hilaire's playful spirit, this Armagnac is not just a drink; it's an adventure into the extravagant. With only 291 bottles in existence, each one is a rare and coveted treasure waiting to be claimed. Are you ready to join the grand Rounagle hunt and experience the taste that's as crazy and bold as our ideas? The quest begins soon – be prepared to catch 'em all!

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Grape of the Art Rounagle 1986

Category: Armagnac Ténarèze

Producer: Rounagle

Age: 1986 Vintage - 36 Years Old

ABV: 51.3 % - Cask Strength

Grape variety: Ugni Blanc

Distillateur: Patrick Michalouski

Cellar climate: Dry & wet cellar

What?

Grape of the Art Rounagle 1986 Ténarèze

Cask #78, 36 years old, dry and humid cellar, 51.3% abv cask strength Ugni blanc

Distilled by Patrick Michalouski

Who?

Grape of the Art

Domaine Rounagle is an Armagnac producer nestled in the hillsides of Larroque sur L’Osse, in the northwestern part of the Armagnac region, near the town of Condom. The estate boasts a 23 hectare vineyard, with 20 hectares actively producing grapes on its clay-limestone terroir, known throughout the region for yielding highly aromatic white wines suited for distillation. Historically, the vineyard's output was sold in bulk to enhance the blends of larger negociants, a practice that continued until its discovery and subsequent acquisition by an experienced industry figure. This individual, with a rich background and experience with Armagnac houses and mentored by revered names in the trade, was drawn to Rounagle's potential to produce something truly special.

Rounagle's Armagnac, a product of the Tenarèze region, is crafted using traditional methods with Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes, and distilled continuously in-house during the winter using travelling distillers. Before its acquisition in October 2015, the estate was owned by two brothers who meticulously preserved vintages from the early '60s, which were then procured to showcase the estate's quality. These Armagnacs are celebrated for their fruity and expressive nature, embodying the new owner's preference for rich, palate-fulfilling eaux-de-vie with a lasting finish. Rounagle's offerings were once a local secret, sold only to neighbors and connoisseurs and distributed in a handful of local shops, but now they stand poised to represent the very best of Armagnac production.

Where?

Ténarèze

How?

This Armagnac was distilled in 1986 by the skilled Patrick Michalouski and aged for 36 years in both dry and humid cellars. This vintage, from cask #78, presents itself at a robust 51.3% abv cask strength, and boasts a natural color, with no additives whatsoever, and non-chill-filtered to preserve all of its aromatic, flavor, and sensorial qualities. Coming exclusively from the Ugni Blanc grape, it offers an intensely nutty nose with layers of roasted walnuts, hazelnuts, rich dark chocolate, and a complex mix of fine spices, all intertwined with a fragrant precious woods aroma and an intriguing tar note. On the palate, it unfolds with a big, almost heavy body, revealing an impressive natural sweetness and a deeply roasty, toasty flavor profile, marrying nuts and chocolate with a bittersweet finish.

What?

Grape of the Art Rounagle 1986 Ténarèze 

Cask #78, 36 years old, dry and humid cellar, 51.3% abv cask strength Ugni blanc 

Distilled by Patrick Michalouski

Who?

Grape of the Art

Domaine Rounagle is an Armagnac producer nestled in the hillsides of Larroque sur L’Osse, in the northwestern part of the Armagnac region, near the town of Condom. The estate boasts a 23 hectare vineyard, with 20 hectares actively producing grapes on its clay-limestone terroir, known throughout the region for yielding highly aromatic white wines suited for distillation. Historically, the vineyard's output was sold in bulk to enhance the blends of larger negociants, a practice that continued until its discovery and subsequent acquisition by an experienced industry figure. This individual, with a rich background and experience with Armagnac houses and mentored by revered names in the trade, was drawn to Rounagle's potential to produce something truly special.

Rounagle's Armagnac, a product of the Tenarèze region, is crafted using traditional methods with Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes, and distilled continuously in-house during the winter using travelling distillers. Before its acquisition in October 2015, the estate was owned by two brothers who meticulously preserved vintages from the early '60s, which were then procured to showcase the estate's quality. These Armagnacs are celebrated for their fruity and expressive nature, embodying the new owner's preference for rich, palate-fulfilling eaux-de-vie with a lasting finish. Rounagle's offerings were once a local secret, sold only to neighbors and connoisseurs and distributed in a handful of local shops, but now they stand poised to represent the very best of Armagnac production.

Where?

Ténarèze

How?

This Armagnac was distilled in 1986 by the skilled Patrick Michalouski and aged for 36 years in both dry and humid cellars. This vintage, from cask #78, presents itself at a robust 51.3% abv cask strength, and boasts a natural color, with no additives whatsoever, and non-chill-filtered to preserve all of its aromatic, flavor, and sensorial qualities. Coming exclusively from the Ugni Blanc grape, it offers an intensely nutty nose with layers of roasted walnuts, hazelnuts, rich dark chocolate, and a complex mix of fine spices, all intertwined with a fragrant precious woods aroma and an intriguing tar note. On the palate, it unfolds with a big, almost heavy body, revealing an impressive natural sweetness and a deeply roasty, toasty flavor profile, marrying nuts and chocolate with a bittersweet finish.

Reason for choosing

Truth be told, we’ll never not add a Grape of the Art release to our selection. It’s pointless to say that the GotA crew chooses quality - many others do too, so quality is not what makes them unique. But what they have a tremendous knack for is selecting Armagnacs that cover the entire aroma and flavor spectrum. Their selections embody the diversity of the Armagnac region, and for that we are thankful.

Nose

Intensely nutty profile: roasted walnuts and hazelnuts 
Shades of rich dark chocolate 
Fine spice mix 
Fragrant precious woods 
This decadent rich nose is completed by a tar note, which add intrigue

Palate

Big body, almost heavy
Impressive natural sweetness
A flavor profile that is very roasty and toasty
Nuts and chocolate
A finish that has bittersweet notes

Nose:
Intensely nutty profile: roasted walnuts and hazelnuts
Shades of rich dark chocolate
Fine spice mix
Fragrant precious woods
This decadent rich nose is completed by a tar note, which add intrigue

Palate:
Big body, almost heavy 
Impressive natural sweetness 
A flavor profile that is very roasty and toasty 
Nuts and chocolate 
A finish that has bittersweet notes

Fun Fact

Over 300 different grape varieties have been identified in Southwest France (the region in which the Armagnac production zone lies), and 120 of those 300 grapes are indigenous.

Grape of the Art

Armagnac Fontan 1996

Last bottles available

Introducing Grape of the Art Fontan 1996 by Noir Cinema: an ode to French film's golden age. From Paris's heart, a crafty thief has taken a coveted 26-year-old Ugni-Blanc Bas-Armagnac from the Louvre's depths. Now hidden in Montmartre, he leaves only a captivating scent trail: candied oranges, floral notes, coconuts, and wine gum. Once unveiled, relish the flavors of lush Gascogne fruits, raspberry hints, and a robust 55.1% abv finish. Dive into the legacy.

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Grape of the Art Fontan 1996

Category: Armagnac (Bas-Armagnac)

Producer: Fontan

Age: 1996 Vintage - 26 Years Old

ABV: 55.1 % - Cask Strength

Grape variety: Ugni Blanc

Distillateur: Cironie

Cellar climate: dry cellar

What?

Grape of the Art Fontan 1996 Bas-Armagnac

Cask #B116, 26 years old, dry cellar, 55.1% abv cask strength, ugni blanc

Who?

Grape of the Art - who needs no introduction.

Maison Fontan is an Armagnac producer based in the Gers region of France, where the Fontan siblings, Nadège and Sylvain, blend tradition and terroir to create their esteemed eau de vie. The winery dedicates itself to the production of Cotes de Gascogne wines and Armagnac, following ancient Roman customs by distilling a portion of their Ugni blanc wine harvest. This distillation occurs in a traditional copper Armagnacais still, yielding an exceptionally aromatic spirit. After distillation, the eau de vie is transferred to Gascogne oak barrels, where it begins its transformation into Armagnac, acquiring complexity, color, and character over many years.

The Fontans' approach to Armagnac production is meticulous and patient. The oak barrels used are sourced from Bartholomo, a local cooper who ensures a consistent quality and barrel chauffe, influencing the spirit's breathability and tannin profile through medium to large grain wood. In the shadowed quiet of their cellars, Sylvain carefully monitors the aging process—gauging tannin development, the angel's share evaporation, and the emergence of the coveted rancio flavor. This dedicated stewardship over the years is what allows Maison Fontan to produce Armagnacs of exceptional taste and quality.

Where?

Bas-Armagnac, lieu dit “Maubet”

How?

This 1996 Bas-Armagnac is made from 100% Ugni Blanc grapes, the grape variety favored by Fontan. Immediately after distillation, the spirit dripped off the still between 52% and 60% alcohol, from which point it began its slow aging process until seeing the light of day with this Grape of the Art bottling. The casks employed come from Batholomo and have a larger grain.

The Armagnac aged for 26 years in one of the domaine’s dry cellars. Like all bottlings from Grape of the Art, it is bottled at its natural cask strength 55.1%. It goes without saying, there are no additives whatsoever.

The aromas are explosive and loaded with all sorts of fruits - candied and fresh. It is inviting, delicious smelling and is generally met with an audible sigh upon first nosing. If the nose pulls you in, the palate arrests you with its intensity and power. Balance is preserved though, and the various fruits support the character of the spirit.

What?

Grape of the Art Fontan 1996 Bas-Armagnac

Cask #B116, 26 years old, dry cellar, 55.1% abv cask strength, ugni blanc

Who?

Grape of the Art - who needs no introduction.

Maison Fontan is an Armagnac producer based in the Gers region of France, where the Fontan siblings, Nadège and Sylvain, blend tradition and terroir to create their esteemed eau de vie. The winery dedicates itself to the production of Cotes de Gascogne wines and Armagnac, following ancient Roman customs by distilling a portion of their Ugni blanc wine harvest. This distillation occurs in a traditional copper Armagnacais still, yielding an exceptionally aromatic spirit. After distillation, the eau de vie is transferred to Gascogne oak barrels, where it begins its transformation into Armagnac, acquiring complexity, color, and character over many years.

The Fontans' approach to Armagnac production is meticulous and patient. The oak barrels used are sourced from Bartholomo, a local cooper who ensures a consistent quality and barrel chauffe, influencing the spirit's breathability and tannin profile through medium to large grain wood. In the shadowed quiet of their cellars, Sylvain carefully monitors the aging process—gauging tannin development, the angel's share evaporation, and the emergence of the coveted rancio flavor. This dedicated stewardship over the years is what allows Maison Fontan to produce Armagnacs of exceptional taste and quality.

Where?

Bas-Armagnac, lieu dit “Maubet”

How?

This 1996 Bas-Armagnac is made from 100% Ugni Blanc grapes, the grape variety favored by Fontan. Immediately after distillation, the spirit dripped off the still between 52% and 60% alcohol, from which point it began its slow aging process until seeing the light of day with this Grape of the Art bottling. The casks employed come from Batholomo and have a larger grain.

The Armagnac aged for 26 years in one of the domaine’s dry cellars. Like all bottlings from Grape of the Art, it is bottled at its natural cask strength 55.1%. It goes without saying, there are no additives whatsoever.

The aromas are explosive and loaded with all sorts of fruits - candied and fresh. It is inviting, delicious smelling and is generally met with an audible sigh upon first nosing. If the nose pulls you in, the palate arrests you with its intensity and power. Balance is preserved though, and the various fruits support the character of the spirit.

Reason for choosing

Do we really still need to give a reason for choosing Grape of the Art Armagnacs? Kidding aside, we were drawn to the intensely fruity aromatic profile, and the alliance between the power and balance of the spirit.

Nose

Sweet, tangy candied orange
Bright evocative raspberries
Gascogne dried fruits
Rich complexity of fine and fragrant woods

Palate

Raspberries front and center
Bold, thick, balanced profile
Powerful spirit
Heavy body
Long, dry, satisfying finish

Nose
Sweet, tangy candied orange
Bright evocative raspberries
Gascogne dried fruits
Rich complexity of fine and fragrant woods

Palate
Raspberries front and center
Bold, thick, balanced profile
Powerful spirit
Heavy body
Long, dry, satisfying finish

Fun Fact

The local economy in the Gers revolves around agriculture and various culinary treasures: Armagnac (of course), Cotes de Gascogne wines, Floc de Gascogne, Foie Gras, Duck, and wild mushrooms

Robert, Oliver, Sascha, Christian and Leonard - the 5 friends behind Grape of the Art

About Grape of the Art

An independent bottler specializing in Armagnac and Cognac single casks, Grape of Art are made up of five partners: Oliver Gerhardt, Christian Maier, Leonard Stumpf, Sascha Junkert, and Robert Bauer.

The concept of Grape of the Art was born during a blind tasting of their rum and whiskey group in Stuttgart, Germany, where they were amazed by the excellence and diversity of Armagnac. So Grape of the Art began tasting an Armagnac and their first release, “Domaine Le Frêche,” was a 13-year-old Armagnac. After the Stuttgart tasting, they dove into the world of brandy and found that there were few bottlings on the German market that met their expectations of unadulterated, undiluted single barrels.

Their curiosity and exploration eventually led them to the region of Armagnac & Cognac, where they were fortunate to meet remarkable people who gave them the opportunity to taste their distillates directly from the barrel. We work closely with GotA and we are happy to introduce the bottles to an international audience. With a commitment to selecting state of the art barrels being a first priority – dressing the bottles with a fresh and modern image is also a key focus in making the Grape of Art collection stand out. In doing so, the team works closely with their designer, Theresa, putting creative time and energy into making fun bottles and fine-tuned labels.

The Art of Tasting

Upon meeting with many welcoming producers of the Cognac and Armagnac regions, they were able to enter the warehouses and taste the distillates straight from the cask.

Bringing individual strengths and skills to the project, they make up a coherent and mutually complementary team, which despite having different tastes and spirit focuses, almost always have the same favorites in a blind tasting.

When it comes to shortlisting a barrel however, as a general rule, at least 4 out of 5 of the group must be enthusiastic about what they are tasting in order for the Grape of Art promise of quality to be ensured. After exploring the barrel cellars and leaving the site at the producer’s, the five take samples of the best barrels home. At home, these are then divided up and each team member tastes them again blindly and impartially, together with reference bottlings for themselves.

Then, in the final round of the tasting, the five come together to taste them again and make the final decision. With this approach, the warehouse emotions and the influence of age, brand or alcohol strength move into the background and objectivity increases. And while each member of the team takes different responsibilities when it comes to barrel selection and label artwork, they always make the final decision together.

So with such a rigorous tasting process, guaranteeing fine quality selections and with a fresh new aesthetic giving spirits that are steeped in tradition a contemporary twist – what more could be asked of an independent bottler?

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