L'Encantada Armagnac—A Moving Spirit

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After reading David’s piece on the independent bottler L’Encantada in the sprits journal, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bottle. My birthday was this weekend, and my father was coming to town (our birthdays are only four days apart and we always celebrate together) which is a perfect occasion for a great spirit. When my dad arrived in town, his first stop was K&L, and I talked him into buying a bottle of the 20 Year Old "Bellair #36" Bas-Armagnac, which was distilled in 1997. After our birthday dinner we opened this up and enjoyed it while listening to some records- a pairing that I can’t recommend highly enough.

This 20 year old Armagnac was truly moving. Even after great, recently disgorged 1995 vintage Champagne from Le Brun de Neuville, 1970 Chateau Giscours from Margaux and 1982 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, this spirit was on the level. It truly is one of the great examples of affordable luxury that we have to offer here at K&L. With incredible rancio, breadth and spectacular complexity, this Armagnac wowed us both. While simply tasting this was a huge pleasure, digging into a snifter while listening to a great copy of Steely Dan’s Aja on the hi-fi was a special experience.

If you are a wine person, this is a spirit that you should consider seriously. I would argue that the value of a bottle like this is in returning to it, which is something that you can’t do with a regular bottle of wine. This is a spirit that will last a long time after you open it. All you have to do is ration it out slowly. I know what I am going to ask for after dinner the next time I go up to visit my father!

-Gary Westby

spiritsGary Westbyarmagnac