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Encyclopedia > Armagnac (drink)
1956 Armagnac
1956 Armagnac

Armagnac (IPA [aʁmaɲak]), the region of France, has given its name to its distinctive kind of brandy or eau de vie, made of the same grapes as Cognac and undergoing the same aging in oak barrels, but with column still distillation (Cognac is distilled in pot stills). Armagnac production is overseen by a Bureau National Interprofessionel de l'Armagnac (BNIA). Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1102x1100, 150 KB) Work by Rama File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Armagnac (drink) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1102x1100, 150 KB) Work by Rama File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Armagnac (drink) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... The hilly Armagnac region in the foothills of the Pyrenées, between the Adour and Garonne rivers is a historic comté of the Duchy of Gascony (Gascogne), established in 601 in the southwest of Aquitaine (now France). ... A bottle of calvados Pays DAuge Brandy (short for brandywine, from Dutch brandewijn—burnt wine[1]) is a general term for distilled wine, usually 40–60% ethyl alcohol by volume. ... Eau de vie is a French term for a colourless brandy distilled from fermented fruit juice. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... Whiskey barrels at the Jack Daniels distillery Barrels for aging wine in Napa Valley An aging barrel is a barrel used to age wine or distilled spirits such as whiskey, brandy, or rum. ... Species See List of Quercus species The term oak can be used as part of the common name of any of several hundred species of trees and shrubs in the genus Quercus, and some related genera, notably Cyclobalanopsis and Lithocarpus. ... Traditional wooden barrels in Cutchogue Modern aluminium beer barrels - also called casks - outside the Castle Rock microbrewery in Nottingham, England A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of wood staves and bound with iron hoops. ... A column still also called a continuous still, patent still, or coffey still is a variety of still that consists of two columns. ... Laboratory distillation set-up using, without a fractionating column 1: Heat source 2: Still pot 3: Still head 4: Thermometer/Boiling point temperature 5: Condenser 6: Cooling water in 7: Cooling water out 8: Distillate/receiving flask 9: Vacuum/gas inlet 10: Still receiver 11: Heat control 12: Stirrer speed... Pot stills in Scotland A pot still is a type of still used in distilling spirits such as whisky or brandy. ...


Armagnac is the only true rival to Cognac for recognition as the finest producer of brandy in the world. Along with Cognac and Jerez in Spain, it is one of only three officially demarcated brandy regions in Europe. see: Jerez de la Frontera Jerez was a small independent emirate created c. ...


Its quantity of production is significantly lower than that of the Cognac region; for every six bottles of Armagnac sold around the world there are one hundred bottles of cognac sold.


Armagnac has been making brandy for around 200 years longer than Cognac.

Contents

Geography

The Armagnac region lies between the Adour and Garonne rivers in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A part of this historical region is permitted to grow the grapes that are used in the manufacture of brandy that may be labelled with the Armagnac name. This area was officially demarcated when Armagnac was granted AOC status in 1936. Map of the Adour River The Adour (Basque: Aturri) is a river in southwestern France, rising in High-Bigorre (Pyrenees) and flowing into the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay) near Bayonne. ... The Garonne (Occitan: Garona) is a river in southwest France, with a length of 575 km (357 miles). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée (AOC), which roughly translates as term of origin is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, by the government bureau Institut National des Appellations dOrigine (INAO). ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The official production area is divided into three districts which lie in the departements of Gers, Landes and Lot-et-Garonne. The May 25th 1909 Falliere’s decree describes 3 types of soils, these are: Gers is a département in the southwest of France named after the Gers River. ... Landes is a département in southern France. ... Lot-et-Garonne is a département in the southwest of France named after the Lot and Garonne rivers. ...

  • Bas Armagnac - the most famous area of production. with its capital city Eauze, extends over the Landes and Gers departments, and represents 57% of the vineyards. This sandy and silty soil produces fruity, light, delicate and highly praised eau-de-vie.
  • Tenarèze - around the small town of Condom, covers the north-west of the Gers and the south of the Lot-et-Garonne area. It represents about 40% of the vineyards planted for distillation. The clay and limestone soils produce rich and full-bodied spirits which reach maturity after a long period of ageing.
  • Haut Armagnac - called “white” Armagnac because of the abundance of limestone, includes the east of Gers and a small part of the Lot-et-Garonne area. Viticulture was developed here in the 19th century to face a high market demand. Today, this vineyard still exists but only represents a small amount of the production.


Each of these areas is controlled by separate appellation regulations. Although the term "bas" means lower in French, the best armagnacs are principally produced in Bas Armagnac. Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée (AOC), which roughly translates as term of origin is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, by the government bureau Institut National des Appellations dOrigine (INAO). ...


Production

The region contains 40,000 acres (160 km²) of grape-producing vines.


The production of Armagnac differs in several ways from that of Cognac and it is the oldest eau de vie dating back to the 12th century. Armagnac is only distilled once and at a lower temperature than Cognac, meaning that the former retains more of the fruit character, whereas Cognac's second distillation results in a lower balance. Armagnacs are aged for nearly the same period as Cognac, which has a significant impact on the grape once it has been distilled. Armagnac is aged in limousine and local oak casks giving them nice and delicate colour, as well as an intricate flavour more complex than that of Cognac.


Armagnac ages in oak barrels which give it its complex flavour and colour. Armagnac exists in several ages : the minimum for bottles is 2 years. In the case of assemblies, the age on the bottle refers to the youngest component. An "XXX" or "VS" armagnac is a mix of several armagnacs of at least 2 years of ageing in wood. For the VSOP, the ageing is at least 5 years, and for XO, at least 6. Richer and more interesting flavours appear from 15 or 20 years of aging, or more. Elder and better armagnacs are dated ('vintages') ; these bottles contain armagnac from one single year.


Ageing in the barrel removes a part of the alcohol by evaporation (known as "part des anges", "angel's tribute") and allows more complex aromatic compounds to appear by oxidation, which further improves the flavour. When the alcohol part reaches 40% or more, the armagnac is kept in large glass bottles, called Dame Jeanne, for storage. From then on, the armagnac does not age, and can be bottled for sale from the next year on.


As any eau de vie, armagnac is stored vertically to avoid damaging the stopper with alcohol. Once opened, a bottle of armagnac stays drinkable for years.


Aging Requirements for Armagnac are:

  • VS [Very Special] - at least 2 years old
  • VSOP [Very Superior Old Pale] or Réserve - at least 5 years old
  • XO, Napoléon, Extra, Vieille Réserve - at least 6 years old.
  • Hors d'age - at least 10 years old

Grapes

Ten different varieties of grape are authorised for use in the production of Armagnac. Of these, four form the principal part: It has been suggested that Veraison be merged into this article or section. ...

The remaining varieties include Jurançon and Picquepoul. Trebbiano is a white grape used to make white wine, and the most common white grape variety in Italy, accounting for around a third of all Italys white wine. ... Baco 22A or Baco blanc is an French-American hybrid grape variety. ... Folle Blanche was the traditional grape variety of the Cognac and Armagnac regions of France. ... Colombard is a variety of wine grape, better known as French Colombard in North America. ...


Producers

The main producers of Armagnac are:

  • Chateau Laballe
  • Domaine d'Esperance
  • Château de Briat
  • Château Lacquy
  • Darroze
  • Domaine de Bordeneuve
  • Larressingle
  • Laubade
  • De Montal
  • Cerbois
  • Laberdolive
  • Gelas
  • Delord
  • Samalens
  • Armagnac Baron de Sigognac
  • Marquis de Caussade
  • Domaine de Pellehaut
  • Janneau
  • Sempe
  • Ryst-Dupeyron
  • Marcel Trépout (Marques & Domaines de Gascogne)

The Domaine de Bordeneuve is a French company, producing premium Armagnac. ...

Health benefits

Research has suggested that Armagnac has health enhancing qualities.[1] Research has shown that it can help prevent heart disease and battles obesity. Scientists at Bordeaux University concluded that a moderate daily dose of Armagnac could lengthen life. People who live in the Gascony area of France where Armagnac is made live five years longer than average in French. It is speculated that its health effects relate to the unique distillation process of Armagnac and its ageing. Experiments have suggested that a modest dose of Armagnac each day could reduce the likelihood of heart disease, and even help lose weight. The south western area of France where Armagnac is produced has some of the lowest cardio vascular disease rates in the world. The tests showed that small amounts daily will help prevent heart disease. It has to be taken in moderation and the best amount seems to be three centilitres a day with the possibility of more having bad effects. In moderation it could guard against blood clotting, possibly reduce obesity and lead to a longer life. The researchers concluded that the alcohol is not a necessary component. Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different sexes diseases which affect the heart and is the leading cause of death in the United States as of 2006. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Map of the historical and cultural area of Gascony. ...


In the 14th century, the benefits of Armagnac were written down and in 1313 Prior Vital Dufor, a Cardinal, claimed it had 40 virtues. A translation stated: "It makes disappear redness and burning of the eyes, and stops them from tearing; it cures hepatitis, sober consumption adhering. It cures gout, cankers and fistula by ingestion, restores the paralysed member by massage and heals wounds of the skin by application. It enlivens the spirit, partaken in moderation, recalls the past to memory, renders men joyous, preserves youth and retards senility. And when retained in the mouth, it loosens the tongue and emboldens the wit, if someone timid from time to time himself permits." This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ...


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Armagnac
  • BNIA Armagnac official website
  • Another armagnac's website

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

References

  1. ^ Daily Mail 11 May 2007 - Brandy can ward off heart attacks

  Results from FactBites:
 
Spirits and Liqueurs (1364 words)
The second grape spirit of France is Armagnac and is produced to the south-east of Bordeaux.
Armagnac claims to be older than Cognac; first having been produced by the Moors in the 12th Century.
The finest is the Bas Armagnac where wines are low in alcohol and high in acidity, give the best spirit and are often bottled and sold under single domain names with a vintage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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