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|1978 A Beautiful Millessime|
|Armagnac comes from the Armagnac region in Gascony, in southwest France. Wine usually made from a blend of grapes including Baco 22A, Colombard, Folle-Blanche and Ugni Blanc, is distilled using column stills rather than the pot stills traditionally used in Cognac. The resulting eau-de-vie is then aged in oak barrels. Armagnac was one of the first regions in France to produce distilled spirits.
The volume of production is far smaller than Cognac production and is therefore little known outside of France. For the most part Armagnac is made and sold by small producers, whereas in Cognac production is dominated by the four big Cognac brands (Martell, Hennessy, Courvoisier, Rémy-Martin.
Armagnac has always been 'millessimé', ie, the harvest year of the wine is put on the bottle.There hasn't been all the debate that we have seen in Cognac, where the argument between partisans and refusiniks has raged since the 19th century.One of the reasons why vintage labels for Armagnac are better accepted is that the absolute majority of Cognacs are blends and to keep tabs of the year of every component can be daunting when you are into the tens of eau-de-vies. Greatfully enough, cell masters don't buy an eau-de-vie for its harvest year but rather for its aromas and taste properties.
Vintages are made from eaux de vie of a single year. It's the year indicated on the label. You must check the date of bottle in to know how long was the ageing.