Founded in 1832 under Napoleon III, Castarede is the oldest Armagnac trading house in existence. Their vineyards are situated in the heart of the Bas-Armagnac region and are planted with Folle Blache, Colombard and Saint-Emillion varietals, which are carefully monitored to ensure quality. After the distillation process, the Armagnacs are aged in black oak barrels for a number of years in the family’s 100 year old cellars. One is situated on the banks of the Baise river at Pont de Bordes, which is an exceptional location for aging Armagnac due to the temperature-regulating effect of the river. The other is surrounded by their vineyards in Bas-Armagnac.
While traditional VSOP Armagnac is required to be at least 5 years old, Castarede VSOP is a blend of Armagnacs that have been matured for at least 10 years. Light, mellow notes of walnut, spice, cocoa and fruit on the nose carry through to the palate and linger through the warming finish.
Distilled in 1964
Bottled in 2014
Distilled in 1975
Bottled in 2015.
“A firm and intense Armagnac that stands out for its length. This will be well appreciated by lovers of older vintages. The nose is elegant, fine and sophisticated with aromas of dried fruit, cocoa and incense. After a few minutes of aeration, superb notes of white flowers rise from the glass. On the palate, the first attack is rounded, leaving behind explosive and progressive flavors of dried fruit. The persistent finish has notes of rancio and is slightly peppery.”
Distilled in 1975.
Bottled in 2015, Single Cask.
100% Ugni Blanc. Less than 307 bottles were made.
1975 was a warm and dry year. The grapes got loaded with phenols.
Color: Golden Amber with tints of copper.
Nose: Delicate wood, intensely candied fruit, prunes and figs.
Palate: It touches all the aromatics listed above with a finish laced with anise and fenugreek.
Distilled in 1983
Bottled in 2013
Bonal Gentiane Quina is an aperitif that has things in common with both amari and sweet vermouth. It is an infusion of herbs like gentian and chinchona bark (also called quina, the source of quinine) in a fortified wine base that was first made in 1865.
Bonal is 32 proof, reddish brown in color, and moderately sweet. It smells and tastes strongly of red fruits like plums and cherries, but also herbs and licorice. The palate has a medium bodied texture, and has both the herbal bitterness of gentian and the chalky bitterness of chinchona intermixed with honey, plums and herbal flavors.
Bonal is imported into the United States by Haus Alpenz.
Black Raspberry Liqueur
A five-star liqueur, made with ‘black raspberries’ and other bramble fruits, infused in aged cognac. Perfect for dressing up desserts or sweetening a cocktail.
Produced by the Carthusian Fathers (monks), the Chartreuse recipe dates back to 1605. The recipe remains a closely-guarded secret; only three of the brothers know the names of the 130 plants and how to blend and distill them. They are also the only ones who know which plants must be macerated to produce the distinctive colour. They alone supervise the slow aging in oak casks over several years.
The monks maintain a simple, prayer-filled life in their ancient monastery. As they have done for centuries, they appoint three brothers who are charged with producing the Chartreuse and keeping the recipe secret, until it is time to pass it on to other brothers.
This is the only green liqueur in the world with a completely natural colour. The colour is derived from the plants and herbs in the recipe, with no additives or artificial colour.
Chartreuse V.E.P., for Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé, is the luxe version. Aged for an extended period in oak casks, it mellows and intensifies to stunning effect. Earning rave reviews from tasters, these special V.E.P. bottles are presented with a wax-sealed cork and a wax-stamped back label, and shipped in individual wood boxes. These fine liqueurs offer a unique spirits experience.
Pale vibrant green, almost ‘day glo’. A plethora of aromas, including herbs, mint, orange rind, new leather, licorice, basil and spring flowers all vie for your attention. This sweet digestive has a constantly evolving flavour profile. Though the alcohol is high, the flavours are easily up to the task of keeping the heat in perfect line.
This release was bottled in the beginning of 2016. Chateau Busca is a powerhouse when it comes to Ugni Blanc’s terroir expression blending in with the Black Oak from the vicinity. The finish is lasts over 45 seconds. It lingers with warmth and silky phenols. There is ZERO bite from start to finish.
” BEST BUY! 96-100 CLASSIC! ” – Wine Enthusiast
Wine Enthusiast: 98 points – The wonderfully zesty aroma includes notes of margarine, lanolin, dark caramel, buttery oak and holiday fruitcake. The palate entry is rich, creamy and honeyed; at midpalate the woody/creamy flavor suggests rancio beginnings. Finishes semisweet, cocoa- and maple sugar-like, and intensely oaky. Best Buy.
Ultimate Beverage Challenge: 95 points – The nose is gentle and suggests pastry cream and white grapes. The flavors are delicate in the mouth with trace hints of mace and nutmeg. The texture is overall round and smooth with some piquant spice lingering on the palate.