With the glass in hand, the Armagnacs of Briat do not let the consumer down. In fact, they epitomize the magical wonders that one can find floating in a glass of Gascon spirit.
As grape blends, barrels and vintage conditions vary, there is no standard that is replicated year after year. What is consistent is tremendous quality: always lots of nose, a rich palate feel, and excellent length.
Each varietal is distilled separately to 52°, and all of the 10 barrels aged at the property during a given year see new wood. After two or three years, they are transferred to older casks and, apart from an airing once a year, left to rest in the spacious yet primitive chai.
Topping up is not practiced. At Briat, they prefer to let the level fall, promote air contact, and therefore create a spirit that is less aggressive. Assemblage of various grapes takes place after a minimum of four years and, at times, not until their 10th birthday.
|The Chateau de Briat has a long and impressive history. Built in 1540, it first served as the hunting manor for Queen Jeanne d’Albret.
The Queen’s son, Henri de Navarre - later Henri IV, King of France - often stayed in the castle. In 1587, he gave it to one of his fellow officers as a reward for saving his life in battle.
After changing ownership several times, the domaine was taken over by Baron Raoul de Pichon-Longueville in 1864. The Pichon-Longueville family already owned the famous vineyard of the same name in Pauillac. The family used the estate as a country retreat while continuing the chateau’s tradition of distilling a percentage of the harvest every year and stocking Armagnac.