VINOLOGIE is pleased to present two vintages of Château de Ravignan Bas-Armagnac…
The Château de Ravignan has been in production since 1732 in a charming area of South West France – the Gers, Lot et Garonne and the Landes. Best known for its classic hearty and tasty French dishes such as cassoulet and duck confit among others, this part of France is also very famous for its Armagnac distillation..
Armagnac is a southern cousin to Cognac – there are several distinct differences:
- Geographical – terroir, soils, region; Cognac – mainly calcareous, Armagnac – quartz sands, sediments and siliceous clay;
- Grapes – predominantly Ugni Blanc in Cognac; Folle Blanche, Colombard and Baco in Armagnac;
- Wine – the wine for distillation produced in Armagnac can be consumed with pleasure as is, the wine produced in Cognac can not;
- Climate – the climate tends to be more continental in the Armagnac producing regions – harsher winters, warmer and sunnier summers;
- Distillation – Armagnac undergoes column distillation whereas Cognac is distilled using a pot still;
- Armagnac is allowed to use the pot still as well, but Cognac does not have that freedom. The result tends to be a much more flavourful eau-de vie for Armagnac – the character of the distillate remains intact; and
- Marketing – Armagnac is one of the word’s oldest eau-de vie (15th century) and was traditionally consumed by the local population: not enough was produced for export. Cognac on the other hand was initially created as a low alcohol wine for export to England and Holland; the wine was then distilled as that worked better for export, then aged in barrels, which the Dutch called ‘brandewijn’ (burning wine) which we now know as the word ‘brandy’.
There are 3 classifications/regions for the best Armagnacs – in order of quality; Bas-Armagnac, Haut-Armagnac and Ténarèze. Château de Ravignan is located in Bas-Armagnac in the quaint village of Pesquie. The château itself was built in 1653 and is open for visits.
Today, many generations later, Florence, her master distiller and the family maintain the traditional elaboration and distillation of their specialty – very fine vintage Armagnacs. All grapes for the distillation are grown on the estate , as are most of the oak trees used to make the barrels in which the Armagnacs age. Ravignan’s award-winning vintage Armagnacs are highly prized: they are served in the finest Parisian restaurants such as La Tour d’Argent, Taillevent and others throughout France. A true connoisseur’s sipper.
VINOLOGIE is very pleased to be able to offer extremely limited quantities of the 2006 and the 1998 vintages exclusively at the Summerhill LCBO.
Château de Ravignan Bas Armagnac 2006 (LCBO# 782946 | $145.40)
Golden colour with orange reflections. Fresh apricot and greengage plums on the nose. Fresh and generous mouthfeel with apricot and cinnamon flavours. A light Armagnac, very delicately oaked. Click here to find at lcbo.com.
Château de Ravignan Bas Armagnac 1998 (LCBO# 782938 | $184.20)
Amber colour with mahogany reflections. Supple on the nose with notes of citrus, candied oranges and a hint of cedar. Smooth tasting with vanilla notes and an excellent length. Click here to find at lcbo.com.