Armagnac 'Reserve', Domaine d'Ognoas
The Domaine d’Ognoas estate dates back to the 11th or 12th centuries and became an agricultural showcase for the region of Bas-Armagnac. Today, they have almost 50 hectares of vines planted (Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Baco) and more than 100 hectares of corn, soy beans, and sunflowers. The estate also boasts a forest covering some 300 hectares that provides the wood used to make their Armagnac barrels. Records of brandy production at Ognoas date as far back as the 1780s. The Ognoas still is the oldest column still in the region, built in 1804. It has never been out of service since it was first built, making it the oldest working still in Gascony. It was designated as a historic monument in 2004. Ognoas also supplements its production with an old traveling still from 1936 which has been fixed to the ground since 1999. Together with the 1804 still, it is used to distill the 500 hectoliters of Armagnac between the beginning of November and the beginning of December each year.
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While there is no stated vintage, this bottling comes entirely from the 2006 harvest and distillation. It is a blend of 70% Ugni Blanc and 30% Folle Blanche. From its round, rich texture comes notes of dried plums, a hint of chocolate and vanilla, and well-integrated tannin on the finish. While most entry-level armagnacs have permitted additives, the Domaine d’Ognoas ‘Reserve’ is completely unadulterated, save for the addition of water to bring it down to 43% ABV.