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1986 L'Encantada 30 Year Old "Domaine Le Frêche" Cask #44 Bas-Armagnac (750ml) (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1330154

Rarely has a spirit so affordable provided me with so much overt joy as this special cask from Domaine Le Frêche. L'Encantada scours the countryside for rare gems and finding this is like extracting a perfectly cut diamond directly from the ground. The little village in the department of Landes is home to some of the most expensive and well regarded estates in Armagnac. Just to the northwest is the famous Domaine Boingnères and to the south the excellent Chateau de Ravignan. Boingnères is run by Armagnac royalty and their spirit commands an impressive premium over eau-de-vie from the Gers and Tenereze to the East. There's no question that if Armagnac designated Grand Cru villages Le Frêche would be top of the list. The excellent terroir paired with a high quality new Gascogne oak results in what I can only describe as one of my favorite spirits of the year, maybe the decade. After more than 30 years in the barrel, this eau-de-vie has taken on nuance I've only experienced before in ultra old single malt Scotch. The closest comparison that comes to mind is the heady tropical complexity of 60s Bowmore or 40s Glenlivet. It's this incredible balance between sweet and savory that keeps me coming back for more. While an '86 Boingnères would easily cost you $250+ and Bowmore from the 60s closer to $10000, this wonderful cask is a steal for $130. Very few spirits deliver this level of depth and complexity in such a seemless package and almost none at this price point. A true legend.


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Price: $129.99
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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/18/2018 | Send Email
In a lot of ways the 1986 Le Freche is the perfect Armagnac. At the ripe old age of 30 and naturally reduced through evaporation to an extremely appealing and not all challenging 47%, this spirit has achieved near perfection. The elegance and complexity reminds us more of superb old style Highland Malt, subtle sherry-like influences paired with the exotic and delicate nature of the most high end brandies. The raw intensity of the Lous Pibous Casks is substituted for a precision and focus that I've rarely seen matched in my 10+ years buying and tasting spirits. The result is something so unabashedly drinkable. It's extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly why this cask is so special. The simple fact is there's almost nothing in the world that tastes this good at anywhere close to this price. The color is auburn and shimmering garnet. The nose is pure rancio, leather, licorice, stewed plums, salted stone fruits, burning embers. The palate is textured and full. Unctuous and open but not has hard edged as some of these other cask strength. Bold herbal notes revolve around the overripe fruit building toward an almost smoky savory sandalwood finish. This is already a contender for my favorite spirit of 2018!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Armagnac

Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Alcohol Content (%): 47.1