The Top Armagnac Bottles Under $100

Ready to learn about armagnac? Compared to cognac, armagnac is generally more rustic and full of flavor. Your best bet is to start with blends rather than the vintages. Most of these armagnac brands are aged way beyond their designations and each can be had for under $100.
Feb 22, 2020
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    10 Château de Briat Hors d'Âge Bas-Armagnac
    One of the oldest houses of armagnac, the Château de Briat was built in 1540 about two centuries after armagnac production first began in the 14th century. Once owned by King Henri IV, the house changed hands several times before it was acquired by the Baron Raoul de Pichon-Longueville in 1864, whose family still owns the vineyard and the distillery. This Hors d'Âge expression is bottled after 12 years of maturation in French oak. Armagnac is usually matured for the first two to three years in new, toasted oak before being moved to older cask so that the oak flavors do not overpower the spirit. The Château does not top off its barrels, allowing the distillate air contact as it matures. The grapes are 75% Baco Blanc (a phylloxera-resistant hybrid of the French varietal Folle Blanche and the American Noah grape), 15% Folle Blanche, and 10% Colombard. Bottled at 44% ABV.
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    9 Tariquet Bas-Armagnac XO
    The grapes used in the production of Tariquet Armagnacs are all estate-grown. In this case, 60% of the grapes used were ugni blanc with the remaining 40% comprised of baco. After fermentation, the wine is then distilled in a wood-fueled alembic still, the ugni blanc wine fermented and distilled separately from the baco. Though the minimum age for XO is 10 years as of April 2018, the youngest Armagnac in this bottling is 15 years old.
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    8 Marie Duffau Hors d’Âge Armagnac
    This Hors d'Âge from Marie Duffau is made using a combination of all four varietals permitted for armagnac. The fields of the family are split 70% for ugni blanc, 20% for baco blanc, 5% for colombard, and 5% for folle blanche. Although Hors d'Âge only need to be aged for 10 years, this bears an age statement of 12 years so all the eaux-de-vie in the bottle is at least that old. The house of Delord bottles their armagnac under two labels to honor different sides of their family: Delord, their grandfather, the first distiller of the family, and Marie Duffau, their grandmother, the owner of the vineyards. Each generation of the family has kept the tradition of armagnac distillation alive since 1893.
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    7 Larressingle Armagnac XO
    The grapes used in the armagnacs from Larressingle come from two regions in Armagnac: 70% from the Ténarèze and 30% from Bas-Armagnac. The eaux-de-vie used to produce this blended XO are aged from 15-20 years rather than the standard 10 years for the XO designation. Aged in 400L Monlezun oak barrels.
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    6 Darroze Les Grands Assemblages 12 Year
    Darroze a is family owned négociant in the Bas-Armagnac region, known for their celebrated stock of armagnac. Négociants are French houses that buy and age distillates and wines from smaller producers and take them to market under their own labels. They often blend from multiple vineyards, as is the case with the Les Grands Assemblages (simply, "the great blends") series from Darroze. The 12 year bottling is next step above the 8 year offering, sourced from a number of vintners in the area. As with whiskey, the age on the bottle is that of the youngest spirit in the blend. Bottled at 43% ABV.
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    5 Delord Armagnac 25 Year
    Owned and operated by three generations of the Delord family, the House of Delord has been making armagnac since the 1890s when the patriarch of the family purchased a vineyard in Lannepax in Bas-Armagnac. Delord grows all four of the major armagnac varietals (ugni blanc, colombard, Baco blanc, and folle-blanche) without pesticides or fertilizers. They distill their eaux-de-vie on-site either in traditional continuous stills or in a double-distillation process. The new-make spirit of the former goes into older bottlings, whereas the double distilled new-make typically goes into younger bottlings. This armagnac is aged at least twenty-five years. Bottled at 40% ABV.
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    4 Dartigalongue Hors d'Âge Armagnac
    Maison Dartigalongue uses three varietals in its armagnacs: Baco 22A, folle blanche, and ugni blanc. Their Hors d'Âge blended armagnac is aged for a minimum of 10 years in mostly Gascon oak with the house using about 30% new oak to its cellars. Speaking of cellars, they use both dry and humid cellars in their armagnac production.
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    3 Castarède Armagnac XO 20 Ans d'Âge
    Castarède Armagnac XO is from the Castarède family who have been making armagnac for over 175 years in the Bas-Armagnac region of France. This armagnac has been aged for at least 20 years in oak, way beyond the 10 years that is required for an XO designation.
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    2 Château de Laubade XO Bas-Armagnac
    This XO Bas-Armagnac is comprised of mostly estate-grown ugni blanc and colombard with some baco and folle blanche added. It is a blend of more than 40 eaux de vies which are aged from 15-25 years in Gascon oak.
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    1 Domaine d'Esperance Bas-Armagnac XO
    This XO bottling is produced from the baco 22A grape, though the estate grows other varietals. It is aged initially in new Gascon oak for one year and then transferred to used Gascon oak for the remainder of the aging process. The armagnac is made from a blend of four different vintages with youngest being 10 years old. As with all Domaine d'Esperance armagnac, it is made with no additives-- no sugar, no boisé, and no caramel.