Argonaut Speculator Brandy
Argonaut // California, USA
Argonaut Speculator Brandy is comprised of a complex blend of California brandies ranging in age from 3 to 19 years, with grapes that include chardonnay, French colombard, grenache, and muscat. A 3 year-old brandy distilled on an alembic still makes up a quarter of the blend, with another 29% dedicated to a 3 year-old coffey still brandy. Other older brandies, all distilled on coffey stills, make up the remainder of the blend.
American BrandyProduced in the US, this is usually referring to brandy distilled from grape-based wine. If the producer uses other fruit, it must be stated on the label. If aged under two years in oak, it must state the word "immature" on the label. Beyond that, labels such as VS, VSOP, and XO mean little as the brands themselves dictate what that means to them.
"California brandies don't yet demand much attention at the bar, but Argonaut may work to change that. The Speculator manages to be both light and complex, bringing out notes of almond, jasmine, and vanilla, with lingering hints of pear and lemon zest. At 43% ABV and moderately priced, it's primed for use in cocktails, in addition to being perfectly enjoyable neat."