Maturity begins at 30. The fresh fruit is transformed into dried and candied fruit, the spicy character asserts itself, the first aromas of « rancio » appear and the alcohol is perfectly mellow. The fiery youth softens and relents. This Grand Assemblage is the perfect example of magnificent balance that one finds in eaux de vie of this age.
Francis Darroze has been described as the Pope of Bas Armagnacs and is widely recognised as the top producer in the region. Darroze owns no vineyard, instead works with small growers ageing the spirits in his own cellars. The end product is totally authentic, each bottle is hand drawn and bottled from its original aging cask. Francis refuses to blend casks from the same Domaine or same vintage feeling that this would diminish each cask’s individual charm and integrity. Darroze also refuses to add water to his brandies (a common and legitimate practice in both Armagnac and Cognac). Each cask is carefully monitored and tasted regularly to adequately judge its maturation and evolution. The results speak for themselves. This is why the Bas-Armagnacs of Darroze are served in the world’s best restaurants and sold in the finest stores.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - I cannot claim to have tasted all the finest Bas-Armagnacs, but I know of no one who makes finer Bas Armagnac than Darroze. All his Armagnacs are unblended from single vineyards from a single vintage. He is considered the “Pope of Armagnacs”… You haven’t tasted real old style Armagnacs until you try one of these incredibly intense, fiery creations. The aromas are undeniably heady, but deliver powerful yet complex scents of vanillin, leather, sauteed almonds, and hickory. Extremely full bodied and intense, the remarkable amount of fruit these Armagnacs possess and the astonishing richness they have set them apart from just about any other brandy on the market.