1988 Domaine du Cardinat 33 Year Old K&L Exclusive Bas Armagnac (750ml)

SKU #1462127

Domaine du Cardinat has been in the Lalanne family for over a century. Farmer and grandfather of the current proprietor, Patricia Singh, built the family home at the domaine 100 years ago and cultivated the land long before that. In 1935, Joseph Lalanne's sudden death thrust Patricia's father, Camille into the fields forcing him to leave school and commit his life to the family domaine. Just four years later, Camille planted the first vines at the domaine and his life was devoted to this patient passion. There he worked tirelessly to produce great brandy, but his marketing was almost entirely word of mouth, relying on tourists stumbling upon the domaine and friends and family to return each year to place their orders. Camille's daughter, a certified viticulture and oenology specialist, left the domaine to pursue a career in marketing. She returned to work alongside her father a year before his death in 2010. Patricia made the bold decision to continue Camille's legacy accompanied by her husband Mr. Singh. We're lucky she did because their stocks are exceptional. Cardinat is in the tiny village Sarragachies in the western edge of the Gers directly in between the great Armagnac villages of Lannemaignan and Castex. Perhaps the most traditionally styled of the Cardinat's excellent vintages, the '88 offers more nuance than other vintages, but still isn't shy on the wood. Streamlined and linear with a focus that's not usually evident in the big boisterous brandies from this estate.

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Price: $99.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/21/2023 | Send Email
This is a mature Armagnac that is lively and delicious. The nose is inviting with rich and sweet aromas. In the mouth it is concentrated and full bodied. There is a wonderful and joyful long finish.

By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/21/2023 | Send Email
Nothing short of magical, this expression from Cardinat shows exactly why more people are flocking to these incredible spirits from Gascogne. Bourbon drinkers take heed- rather than chasing the impossibly allocated, overpriced, and overhyped viral sensations, drink historic yet available Armagnac. Surprisingly soft for 33 years in oak, it displays the fabled rancio character you can only get from well-aged brandy, plus plenty of dried fruit and caramelized wood. Dried and preserved fig, prune, and quince up front give way to sweet tea, cacao nibs, candied walnuts and praline. The ample oak flavor has no hard edge or astringency, instead providing a beautifully sweet and subtly spiced frame for the complex and polished profile on display. But these flavor descriptors don't do it justice. The texture and feeling of this spirit possess a quality that words cannot convey. Something ineffable makes you want to come back for more and more until your glass is empty and you're eyeing the bottle, debating how much more you can drink before it becomes a problem. The sweet and savory flavors meld so perfectly together after 33 years that one cannot perceive where one starts and another ends. You simply cannot find something of this quality and sophistication for $100 in any other category. Do yourself a favor and get as many bottles as you can before they disappear.

By: Michael Pires | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2023 | Send Email
Complex and delicious! A little more orchard fruit forward than the 2005 and 1998 Cardinat. Creme Brulee, baking spice, and wood on the nose. The finish is not quite as smooth to me as the 1998 Cardinat. Instead, the 1988 has a peppery finish like the 2005, but much smoother than the 2005.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2023 | Send Email
Dried currants, plums, figs, fresh herbs, and a gentle blanket of oak spice the 1988 from Cardinat offers a softer side of the house without giving up the spunk that fans of this producer love. It's 48% ABV providing lift and cut and superbly balanced between dense fruit and wood. The tannins are softer than the '98 or '05 we have on offer giving it a bit more mellow mouthfeel. It is a rare thing to find spirit aged for more than 3 decades for under $100, but here we have such a gem.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/8/2023 | Send Email
We've taste through every vintage on offer at Cardinat and there's definitely some vintages that are unusual, but most exhibit the house style of sweet dried fruit and big bold oak. The '88 is a slight deviation although not at all shy, it doesn't have that singular intensity the 04 has. Instead the nose is much more nuance and shows a purity of fruit that is non-existent in the other offerings. Sweet baked apples topped with cinnamon, dark chocolate, orange peel, raspberry jam, thujon. Tons of juiciness on the palate. It's down right bright on the palate, boisterous and vibrant - dark chocolate filled with kirsch, zippy red currants, cherry juice, exotic honey, ripe pears. It's got this acidity that sounds unusual for a spirit but makes it wildly enjoyable and easy to drink. If Armagnac could ever be crushable, this is the one. I'm afraid to grab it each night because it means I won't be going out. Nowadays there's no where to go, so it's become a quick favorite.

By: Aaron Hughes | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/2/2020 | Send Email
A pretty and soft nose that is much more elegant and refined than the Cardinat 2005. There's a lovely core of ripe fruit but around that is loads of rich vanilla and caramel. The palate is incredibly elegant and focused, with a richness and roundness that I haven't always found in Armagnac (though to be fair, I haven't had one with this much age before). There's a compelling balance to the fruit and the caramel that give this a dessert-like and custardy feel. Absolutely gorgeous.

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