For those who haven’t gotten into artisanal producers of these brandies yet, do it now.
You know how people talk about the good old days of burgundy or bourbon but didn’t know they were the good old days at the time? Well, these are the good old days (golden age) of brandy. In 10-20 years when these bottles are 10-100x as expensive you’ll be glad you did.
Some things to try:
Laberdolive: the top producer in Armagnac and probably in all brandy. Expensive but worth every penny.
The XO and tattoo are fun bottles, single cask is where it’s at for maximum impact, but definitely read reviews before buying.
Labaude/Delord, more mass market
Jean Luc Pasquet - family owned, amazing offerings
Normandin-Mercier: perhaps my favorite brandy producer, just fantastic
Vallein-Terciner: lots of fantastic offerings.
Being 31 years old doesn’t make it amazing. And L’Encantada isn’t a producer, they are a bottler. Their well is drying up and there are more misses than hits these days. Sure, there is a gem now and again, but nothing like the picks coming out 3-5 years ago. Besides, L’Encantada and others know what they have. Their pricing has gone up 2-3x what it was for normal retail.
I’ve been buying Armagnac and cognac for about 6-7 years and have not really noticed that the prices have increased significantly.
If you’re talking about the early Lous pibous stuff, I agree that some of those bottles are better than some of the newer stuff coming out for people into malternatives. The XO bottles are still a great value and all 3 were around 80 on release.
Laberdolive hasn’t gone up in price appreciably and is a cut above.
I think cognac is where I’m most excited about artisanal producers.
There are way more options now than there were 4-5 years ago, imo. Prices are going to go up… a LOT.
You have people like that douchebag raj bhatka and his Islay finished Armagnac pushing the stuff now.
Ok. I’ll bite. I know zero about the years. I’d guess because distilled the years matter less? Tell me what years to buy, what to avoid, and I’ll buy a couple of cases of assorted Laberdolive. I like ‘The Best’!
I can buy in the US and London if there are some preferred merchants? In the US, seems to be D+M, Woodland Hills and Blackwells.
TY, I’ll take a punt. For the older bottlings, looks like there’s a few places that ship within France, I’ll be in Normandy and Paris in the Fall. For the older bottlings, which years do you think are best? I’ll also look for those. TY!
Blackwells is a good source in the us; I don’t have much experience with older vintages; William Kelley may have more. The ones I’ve had have been superb but at the very end of very long wine dinners so no formal notes.
Tesseron is great, although I wouldn’t really consider it a small artisanal producer. The 29 is a very good brandy. If you like the complexity of that blend, normandin mercier tres vielle grande champagne is a blend of 100 year old minimum, and what seems like more like 120-140 year old.