Mr. Cazenave has become one of the most renowned producers of Armagnac on the market today. His beautiful estate in the rolling hills outside of Mauléon d'Armagnac have old vine Folle Blanche planted to sable fauve and sandy clay. Not a native of Gascogne he's managed a large medical laboratory in Nice and began farming in Armagnac after serving in Algeria. An honorary gascognian, he made a commitment to producing the finest Armagnac in the early 1990s and sparing no expense to create the finest eau-de-vie possible. Here are the results of that passion. His Armagnacs are particularly elegant and distinguished and allude to a pre-phylloxera style now lost. The estate ceased brandy production in the mid-2000s, but the eau-de-vie was split between Darroze and his own chai. The Armagnacs statically aged in new oak at the Couzard property, some of the most controversial and sought-after in Gascogne, are now sold by L'Encantada as "Lous Pibous." The Armagnacs which were traditionally raised by Darroze in his own cellars are known by the estate name, Couzard-Lassalle. It was the '93 vintage where Mr. Cazenove committed fully to the use of Folle Blanche, new oak casks and high-quality distillation by the itinerant distiller Dargelos. All the Armagnac is aged in locally made barrels from Gascogne oak. The result is a striking balance between power and elegance.
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