On the Trail

DOMAINE DE JEAN-BON

We found Domaine de Jean-Bon one year on a whim after striking out with a different producer. The estate apparently wasn’t too far away from our current position. We pulled up to a small farmhouse a few minutes later and didn’t see anyone around. There was a lazy dog lying in the grass nearby and a cat staring at us through a window, but no sign of human life elsewhere. That’s when Beatrice Sourdois found us standing in her driveway, and we explained to her who we were and why we were there. She invited us inside for a tasting.

Domaine Jean-Bon was started by a family with three brothers, all of whom were named Jean crazily enough. It turns out, however, that one of the Jeans was liked more than the other two, so they named the estate after him: Jean-Bon, or the "good" Jean.  We all laughed when Beatrice told us this. “At that point it was too late too change the name, so they kept it,” she told us. Jean-Bon produces about four to six barrels of Armagnac per year, all distilled from Baco (although they’ve started now with a bit of Ugni Blanc). After visiting the chai, we sat down for some tasting. The spirits of Jean-Bon are incredibly approached and priced so competitively that we think you might do a double-take. They're soft and supple like the Pellehaut Armagnacs, but with spice and character.