For several generations, the Darroze family has scoured Gascony in the Grands Crus centre of the Bas Armagnac region. Thousands of centuries old treasures are held in stock at the Darroze house. This diversity in the crus, the years, the grape varieties and the styles has allowed Marc Darroze to work on this range known as “Les Grands Assemblages” (The Great Blends). Chosen for their complementary characteristics, the selected armagnacs in each blend are different ages. Each age on the bottle indicates the age of the youngest Armagnac in the blend.
A varied aromatic palette
The fruity aromas in the younger blends, with flavours of chocolate and coffee for the older eaux de vie, changing to notes of spices and candied fruits around 30 years old; the aromatic palette evolves naturally over the years.
You can discover this evolution in each blend. Many years of ageing in 400 litre oak barrels have given the oiliness and roundness to the tannins so that each “Grand Assemblage” reveals its own proper balance between the alcohol, the aromas and the tannins.
Grand Assemblage “8 year old”
This blend with very little wood influence, displays a predominance of fruity aromas, along with a variety of other flavours, including prunes, candied orange zest and quince to name but a few. A straight armagnac that is highly strung but nevertheless, smooth and enveloping. You can drink this armagnac as an aperitif, with or without ice.
Grand Assemblage “12 year old”
After 10 years in contact with the oak, Armagnac starts to take on the aromas of ageing. The fruit that is still present, is accompanied by the first aromas of soft spices such as liquorice and cinnamon. Still quite fiery, this eau de vie will become more complex after a few minutes breathing in your glass.
Grand Assemblage “20 year old”
20 years old, the prime of life. This Armagnac is full of life and displays a lovely character. Already the alcohol is tamed, the tannins more refined and the aromas take shape. It is certainly the most wonderful age for the Armagnac enthusiast who appreciates the force and the maturity.
Grand Assemblage “30 year old”
Maturity begins at 30. The fresh fruit is transformed into dried and candied fruit, the spicy character asserts itself, the first aromas of “rancio” appear and the alcohol is perfectly mellow. The fiery youth softens and relents. This Grand Assemblage is the perfect example of magnificent balance that one finds in eaux de vie of this age.
Grand Assemblage “40 year old”
At 40 years, the Armagnac’s style is definitely apparent. The quality of the oak used is very important, as the right use of a quality barrel will bring complexity and finesse to the Armagnac; elements that can be judged and appreciated after 40 years in contact with the wood.
Grand Assemblage “50 year old”
The age of reason. According to the freshness and the balance of Armagnacs of this age, it is sometimes time, at the end of 50 years to stop the barrel ageing. However, the use of barrels that have been exhausted of their tannins over many years in contact with the eau de vie is still possible. The aromas of chocolate, leather and roasted notes are characteristic of these very old eaux de vie.
Grand Assemblage “60 year old”
Eternal … An Armagnac of 60 years old is eternal. It is rare to find an eau de vie that continues to express such character after so many years. This blend is the result of a long and delicate selection that has allowed us to preserve only those Armagnacs that have travelled through time without one single wrinkle.