Pure Delights: Armagnac Jean Cavé Brut de Fût 1970
Made from 100% Ugni Blanc grapes, the Armagnac Jean Cavé Brut de Fût 1970 is another stellar expression from this independent producer. Traditionally distilled in a continuous copper still, this single vintage was matured for decades in French oak before being bottled at a natural cask strength of 49.8% ABV. The wood used for the casks at Jean Cavé is a particular wide-grained variety found in the Gascon forest, delicately toasted to a medium char to develop rich sweetness and tannins. As vintage statements go, 1970 has long been highly regarded among winemakers of the region; after a cold, wet, start to the season, conditions improved greatly and were to produce the largest harvest on record. This vintage Armagnac is a snapshot of times gone by - a taste of distant sunshine and bountiful joy.
Armagnac is a grape brandy produced in the Gascony region of south-west France, between the Adour and Garonne rivers by the foothills of the Pyrenees, as it has been since at least the 15th century. Here, the sand and clay terroir spreads across rolling hills drenched in sunshine during the long summer; the dry Ugni Blanc grapes harvested across this region produce powerful and rustic eaux-de-vie with concentrated flavors.
In order to allow the eaux-de-vie to optimally mature, it is vital to closely monitor the cellar environment. The cellars at Maison Jean Cavé benefit from stable humidity and temperatures thanks to an ancient waterway that passes under the floor; with this advantage, in summer as in winter, the casks here can rely on steady maturation. Each release is bottled in the cellar, which means you taste the purest expression of this estate with every drop. As well as blending, the Cellar Master at Jean Cavé takes charge of alcohol reduction by adding ‘petites eaux’ (little waters), a blend of old Armagnac and distilled water.
The team at Jean Cavé work to the principles of Henri Cavé, the fourth generation of the family. With years of skill and passion behind them, they are the guarantors of the estate, making sure that Armagnacs is made here the same way as it was over a century ago. Today, with one hundred and thirty years of tradition passed down, they maintain a range of stock that comprises very old vintages as well as young Armagnacs and blends.
Presentation of the Bottle
The apothecary-style bottle and the design of this release are certainly eye-catching. Rustic but detailed, it includes natural paper labels, a large cork stopper, a luggage tag and an embossed glass emblem of a copper still. This would make a wonderful gift for anyone celebrating a 1970 birthday or anniversary.
How to Serve
Enjoy this rare vintage Armagnac in the traditional manner - from a tulip glass, gently warmed in the hand and sipped as a digestif after a fine meal. You may wish to add a splash of mineral water to lower the alcohol percentage and allow the aromas to open up even further.