Armagnac is France’s oldest distilled spirit and is produced in the southwest region of France called Gascony. It is similar to Cognac and made with the same grape varieties, but Armagnac has a more rustic character owing to the black oak in which it is aged and because the brandy is created through a column-stilled single distillation process – Cognac is double distilled using pot stills.
Armagnac is divided into three distinct regions: Armagnac-Ténarèze, Bas-Armagnac and Haut-Armagnac – Bas Armagnac is recognized as the leader of the three regions. Like Cognac, Armagnac is graded – V.S., V.S.O.P., V.O. and X.O. or Napoleon.
What is grading? Armagnac labeling indicates the amount of time the youngest component of the blend has spent aging in wood. If you are sipping, best to go with at least the V.S.O.P level and up.
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