1988 Fitte et Laterrade 30 Year Old "Domaine Le Chaou" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)

SKU #1404352

Fitte et Laterrade is one of a new breed of micro-bottler that's becoming more prominent in this complex region. The incredibly diverse producers of Armagnac across Gascogne have previously not had many options if and when they chose to commercialize their stocks. This small bottler came into existence thanks to a chance meeting between wine professional Vincent Laterrade and the Fitte family of Chateau de Herrebouc. Together they embarked on a journey through Gascogne to find the region's hidden jewels. They build relationships with tiny producers and offer them above-market rates for quality eau-de-vie with a promise to keep them unadulterated. The little cellar below Vincent's B&B is packed with "pieces" from various estates he works with, each hand selected for their quality and unique character. Of all the excellent Armagnac housed there, Domaine Le Chaou stood out as completely unique. This single-barrel-a-year producer only produced two vintages, but each is an example of an extreme style of Armagnac that doesn't often leave the tiny chai where they're produced. It's a style that the French have had trouble commercializing because it doesn't fit the notion of what many believe brandy "should be," but as a standalone spirit, few aged products match the depth and complexity of these wild, hand crafted eau-de-vie. Bold and brimming with tension, these Armagnacs are not built for the faint of heart. They're packed full of intensity just like the farmer who made them.

Price: $129.99
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By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/29/2019 | Send Email
The wonderful brandy at Fitte & Laterrade represents some of the most interesting stocks available anywhere in Armagnac, but these two single casks that Vincent acquired from a small farm outside of Perquie were easily the most exciting and unique. This extremely well-regarded village in the heart of Bas-Armagnac is home to the famous Chateau de Ravignan, one of La Landes most well regarded producers. But just south of Ravignan, a small domaine holds tiny amounts of Armagnac for home consumption. The farmer specializes mostly in foie and beef production and doesn't produce his own Armagnac, but has small stocks stored on his domaine paid to him in exchange for his services harvesting the grapes. Vincent told me that he'd stumbled upon the Domaine after a long day of tasting and bought these two barrels on the spot. When they were delivered to the chai a few weeks later he re-tasted and thought he must have been crazy. He wasn't sure he'd ever be able to sell them. This is just not what people trying to commercialize brandy in France are expecting. These single barrels were filled into new Gascogne oak without any manipulation whatsoever. The brandy was distilled and harvested at the famous Domaine de Charron and the Domaine Le Chaou was simply the site of aging rather than the site of production. It's a style that the locals love and you see people drinking out of shiners, but almost never makes it onto the market for fear that it will overpower those who might stumble upon it. The bottles open super tight and will taste world's better after a few weeks open, so I recommend pouring your first glass at least 1 hour before you plan to consume it. The color is pure mahogany. The nose is a huge bundle of roasted nuts, dried fruits, oloroso sherry, prune puree, mocha, fig jam, clove, cinnamon. Ultra-thick and a bit hot on entry, it feels like it's going to go astringent, but backs off the edge with a dense sweet fruit, dark chocolate, burnt sugar and exotic wood. This is a big bold brandy that almost reminds me more of Kavalan or something in that intensity level than anything I've ever had from France.

By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/30/2019 | Send Email
As I uttered, “oh wow,” under my breath, I was getting aromas of dark brown sugar, fermenting black plums, antiseptic, and dark chocolate covered raspberries. The palate was smooth and starts off with sweet dried berries but then showed heavy wood influence, which mixed with a lidocaine sensation and mint in the finish.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/29/2019 | Send Email
This Armagnac is imported by Charles Neal which means that it is unique, interesting and of high quality. The nose is dark and earthy with a layer of floral and fruit.In the mouth it has a nice rich dark fruit aspect that accompanies earth and mineral notes. I added 2 to 3 drops of water and it really opened up making it softer, richer and the flavors more accessible. The two vintages of Laterrade we now have in stock are different from each other, with the 1988 being the most rich.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/26/2019 | Send Email
This eau-de-vie re-defines the Armagnac category. It’s impossibly dark in color, firm on the palate, each glass filled with an entire forest floor lightly dusted with the finest Tahitian vanilla. This is simply a sublime spirit that will stop you in your tracks. If meditation included an alcoholic beverage this would be my choice as it will put your mind into a restful focus. It may not be eveyone’s cup of tea, but then again, you might reconsider what you expect from tea. This is one very serious beverage.

By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/21/2019 | Send Email
These surprising Armagnacs are a bourbon-drinker's delight. Crashing waves of oak bring vanilla and ample spice to the forefront, followed closely by robust flavors of nuts and caremlized sugar. Savory earth and fragrant citrus peel create a firm structure that supports the dense flavors. Figs, leather and toasted oak show the maturity that develops from 30 years in barrels. The lingering spice and toasted oak finish make this a treat for anyone craving a strong wood influence and a drier-style of Armagnac. Definitely outside the norm for this region, but a stunning bottle for the price.

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