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1976 L'Encantada 42 Year Old "Domaine Le Sablé #19" Bas-Armagnac (750ml) (Elsewhere $200) SKU #1443829

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Tasting Notes

This wonderful cask of ultra-mature Armagnac is proof that we're still in an absurd state with regards to the price of old brandy from Gascogne. This rare product comes from a domaine that only produced 3 vintages - 1973, 1974 and 1976. We were lucky to acquire a cask of 1974 before they completely sold out and have worked hard to keep in Encantada's good graces. We were overjoyed to have been offered this exceptional barrel at more or less the same price as the one we sold previously. Sablé was a very traditional production using itinerant distillers and planted to 100% Baco. The brandies were filled at the domaine and then aged on-site for over 4 decades. Encantada's good relations with the local producers led them to this little treasure trove and we are the lucky beneficiaries of that great work. It's absolutely astounding that we are able to sell 40+ year old brandy for less than $150. There's no future where these finds continue indefinitely at these ridiculous prices, but as long as they keep finding them we'll keep bringing them to you. Expect the ancient rancio-driven style that true armagnac lovers crave. Every edge has rounded after 40 years in cask, but it's certainly not lost its intensity. Balanced and long, this is one of the best values for ultra-old spirits we've ever seen.

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Staff Reviews

  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This L'encantada is the most subtle of the 3 offering now in sock. There is still plenty of flavor but it is expressed in a more light bodied Armagnac that is subtle and nuanced. The nose is delicate with floral and caramel notes. In the mouth, it is juicy and complex with interesting carmel notes. The finish is long and the mouth feel is soft and lush.
  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    K&L Staff Member
    There is a LOT of butterscotch aroma in this bottle! When I poured this into my glass I expected that I'd be drinking candy. Aromas of canned fruit like syrupy peaches drip in this lovely Armagnac, reminding me of tinned fruit cocktail. Tobacco and soft cedar notes emerge and give some depth and maturity to the brandy. This is definitely not a one-note spirit, with more complexity shining through with each sniff. The palate is shockingly light and bright for a spirit this old. There's a little oak tannin and spice, but this Armagnac is so gentle and tastes so fresh and elegant. Layers of light fruit keep rolling out as I continue to sip. Of the three new bottlings we got from L'Encantada this time around, this is my clear favorite. All three are delicious and interesting, but this one blows me away.
  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    K&L Staff Member
    I love old, static-aged casks like this where, as they lose proof, their flavor concentrates toward a singular, focused expression. Herbaceous and complex, it still feels remarkably alive for a 40+ year-old brandy. A hint of old leather and wood furniture does give away its age, but otherwise this shows remarkable freshness and poise. Rosemary and thyme, baker's chocolate, rock salt and roasted nuts meld with subtle citrus peel and yellow fruit to create something unique yet approachable. Nowhere near as powerful as the younger bottlings, this instead possesses a certain nobility and self-assurance. It has nothing to prove; it's simply outstanding.
  • Stefanie Juelsgaard
    By: Stefanie Juelsgaard
    K&L Staff Member
    In what seems like a complete 180 degree turn in style from the other L'Encantadas, the Le Sablé throws out flavors of maraschino cherry, peach cobbler, and dried candied fruit. The body is much lighter in weight and the vanilla present reminds me of the taste of silky eggnog. Little to no wood tannin keep this bottling lighter and fresh and makes for a killer drink pre- or post-dinner.
  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    These old Sables have a very different character than the other two domaines we have in stock right now. Sable only produced a few barrels of brandy in its tenure, but the quality was excellent thanks to the excellent distillery that helped L'Encantada find these stocks. Here instead of new barrels and dry cellars, which tend to extract more tannin and keep alcohol levels high, this brandy spent four decades in an old barrel in a very humid cellar. The result is a totally different style and maybe much closer what many are used to, but still about as unique as anything coming out of the region. The nose is a complex bouquet of flambéed citrus peel, sweet spices, exotic herbs, fresh yellow plums, quince compote, and sugar candies. We worry about bitterness taking over at this age, or wateriness at the lower proof, but neither pitfall exists. Instead, the palate is absolutely filled with an almost clean rancio fruit, hints of old leather and spice, and an unusual freshness despite the age. The whole thing is really lifted and inviting, not stodgy or esoteric. Probably the easiest of the three casks to love and the right choice for an Armagnac beginner, but with enough texture and depth the hold even the most grizzled lover of Gascogne's greatest at attention.


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