Sunshine After the Storm: Armagnac Jean Cavé Brut de Fût 1971
Produced from high-acidity Ugni Blanc grapes and distilled in the traditional manner using a continuous copper still, this is a vintage Armagnac made to impress. The Armagnac Jean Cavé Brut de Fût 1971 has been matured in casks made from a wide-grained variety of oak found in the Gascon forest - toasted to a medium char - and bottled at a natural cask strength of 46.5% ABV. The year of 1971 saw an unsettled growing season with violent storms in July followed by hail in August and eventually saved by a dry, hot September. This exceptional vintage Armagnac is a snapshot of the region where it was created and the individual climate conditions from which it was born.
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, clay and sand soils spread across rolling hills drenched in sunshine during the long summer; the grapes harvested in this region produce particularly acidic wines, perfect for distillation. It is still, however, the job of the Cellar Master to choose the best vintages and select casks for blending. With Armagnacs of this age, they can often include casks that have been handed from one generation to the next.
Monitoring the cellar environment is a central part of ensuring that the Armagnac matures correctly; luckily, the cellars at Maison Jean Cavé benefit from stable conditions thanks to an ancient waterway that passes under the floor. With steady maturation year-round, the casks here can rest easy, developing more complex notes as time passes. 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, to bring the strength down and create a wonderfully supple brandy.
Under the watchful eye of Henri Cavé, the fourth generation of the family, the team at Jean Cavé rely on years of skill and passion to produce an astonishing range of Armagnac. As guarantors of the estate, they honor the traditional 19th Century of production - and with the benefit of one hundred and thirty years of history, they maintain an incomparable collection that comprises very old vintages as well as young Armagnacs and blends.
Presentation of the Bottle
The apothecary-style bottle ensures that this release is both classic and modern. The detailed packaging includes natural paper labels - such as the signature oversized label on the neck - a large cork stopper, luggage tag affixed around the neck and an embossed glass emblem of a copper still.
How to Serve
Pour this rare vintage into a tulip glass and let it rest for 30 seconds before taking a sip. Optionally, a small dash of mineral water could be added to lower the alcohol percentage and open up the aromas further.