Here is my fourth Armagnac review and the third review of a K&L exclusive Armagnac. I thought their Domaine de Baraillon 30 was quite good and that the Chateau de Pellehaut 17 was excellent and so my hopes are up for this one as well. Like Pellehaut, Chateau de la Grangerie is located in the Ténarèze appellation; unlike it, this is made entirely from the Ugni Blanc grape. K&L has brought in a number of other Armagnacs as well from this producer—indeed next week I will have a review of a much older one. And that more or less exhausts my opening patter…and so let’s get right to it.
Chateau de la Grangerie 20, 1994 (45.5%; bottled for K&L; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Bright fruit: apple at first but then it turns acidic with quite a bit of lime and gooseberry and then back to apple with some sour cider. Gets a bit chalky too as it sits. Quite pungent for the strength. With more time the oak is more prominent and the balance is thrown off a little.
Palate: Oaky to start and it’s got quite a bite. The fruit’s in here too but it’s more subdued (and less acidic than on the nose). As on the nose, it punches above its weight (abv-wise). The oak gets stronger with every sip and there’s an indistinct perfumey sweetness too. No interesting change with time.
Finish: Medium. Oak and spice and menthol and not particularly interesting. Gets sharper as it goes.
Comments: Well, this is the least like the other Armagnacs I’ve tried—much lighter profile and far more of the oak as a result, seemingly; or more accurately the oak is far more prominent and rawer than in the others. It’s also nothing like the Pellehaut I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. As to whether that’s (entirely) down to the completely different grape variety I can’t say for sure not having had enough Armagnac made from either variety (and not having had enough Armagnac, period). On the whole, the problem here seems to be more cask-related. Anyway, don’t forget that it’s evidently true in Armagnac as well that a small batch, esoteric product selected from a small producer is not necessarily going to be better than a mass-produced product (like the Delord 25).
Rating: 78 points.
Thanks to Sku for the sample!