By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
The awesome barrels coming out of Le Freche remind me so much of being in Armagnac it's scary. One whiff and we're transported straight to the dark cold chai covered in black mold and cobwebs. In lots of ways this product is quintessential Baco for me. This often maligned grape is capable of making serious brandy, but it can highlight some of the rustic qualities that Armagnac is known for. I personally drink Armagnac because I love those intense flavors that just simply don't exist in any other brandy. Luckily the French just don't seem to be drinking this stuff or we'd have no Armagnac to sell you, since overall production is minuscule and the French seem to prefer the softer more modern style. This is not that. The nose is freshly tanned hide, orris root, the darkest cocoa, grilled stone fruit, freshly turned soil, lacquer, fancy wood and black currents. As it opens the leather and the sweet cooked fruit take center stage. The palate is extremely forgiving after tasting the Lous Pibous, but it stands firm in its own right. Fancy freshly dried raisins and cranberries, fresh grated nutmeg, clove, Mexican hot chocolate, earthy rustic wood - very forgiving and open despite the high proof. Dark and brooding, but supple and round. It's so balanced and yet so intense. With a little water, an explosion of red fruits. Pure currants and cinnamon. I can't figure out how they do it. I do think I know who made this, but I won't blow up Encantada's spot publicly. Here I wouldn't add water, but some of my colleagues much preferred it with a drop. I think this is the best Le Freche I've had yet.