Not long ago, I discovered the family-owned Armagnac distillery, Delord. The house has operated since 1893 for four generations in Lannepax, in the Gers region of France.
As an early Christmas present, my parents offered me a bottle of their 1989 vintage. Since it was when I was born, this is arguably the best year for any wine or spirit!
In this review, you will discover this Delord’s 1989 Vintage Bas-Armagnac with me as we explore the following topics:
Delord Bas-Armagnac Overview
- Distillery: Delord
- Expression: Récolte 1989
- Appellation: Bas-Armagnac [Lannepax, Gers]
- Age: 27 Years
- Cask Strength: 40% ABV
- Pricing: 60 € / $70 for 50 cl
Bas-Armagnac is an appellation, which indicates that the grapes were grown in the western part of the Gers region in France.
As indicated on the label, this armagnac was bottled on the 27th February 2018. Given that Armagnac is fermented once before being distilled no later than the following April after the harvest, ageing probably began in early 1990. Being the 1989 vintage, this makes for a 27 year-old armagnac if I’m not mistaken.
Although familiar with both Armagnac and Cognac, I confess that I’m no expert on these beverages. However, I’ll be applying the same approach to our whisky reviews for this article.
See Our Whisky Reviews
Delord Bas-Armagnac’s Robe
- Hue: Caramel & Orange Confit
- Transparency: Unctuous
- Body: Full-Bodied
The 1989 vintage features a thick caramel hue with a hint of confit orange rind. While somewhat transparent, I can still see my fingerprints pressed against the far side of the glass. Overall, the robe is unctuous and captures the light well.
Swirling the contents in my Peugeot Les Impitoyables glass, I enjoyed the long wait for the legs to appear. When they did, they very lazily gathered to form thick and oily legs that slowly crawled down the sides.
Récolte 1989’s Nose
- Notes: Orange Rind, Stewed Apples, Brine, Butter
- Nosefeel: Prickly, Peppery
Delord’s 1989 vintage Armagnac features an intense nose with a rich bouquet. Its prickly aromas open the sinuses and require several inhalations to discover the individual notes.
Opening with remarkably overt orange rind, the bouquet follows with stewed apples with a salty hint of brine. A buttery finish provides a warm aroma that rounds off the peppery sensation.
Delord Bas Armagnac’s Palate & Mouthfeel
- Primary Tastes: Salty, Sweet
- Mouthfeel: Astringent, Warming
- Opening: Marmelade, Liquorice
- Heart: Saffron, Cardamom
- Finish: Long [Walnut, Cedar, Honey]
A wonderfully warming opening, the 1989 vintage opens with the familiar orange notes as the nose. However, rather than orange rind, it features a distinctive marmelade aroma that persists throughout.
Accompanied by a hint of liquorice, this transitions to a spicy heart of rich saffron and sweet cardamom. Swirling across the palate brings out the astringent, drying sensation on the tongue.
Finally, a long drawn-out finish reveals strikingly woodsy notes of cedar and walnut followed by a warm honey finish. Meanwhile, the hint of orange continues to endure.
Best Pairings With Delord Bas-Armagnac
With every year being a unique expression of the year’s climate, it’s difficult to provide a general recommendation to accompany a Bas-Armagnac.
However, with Delord’s Récolte 1989, its warm, fruity notes paired remarkably well with aged blue cheeses. For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet and salty harmony when tasted with a blue goat’s tomme for the Savoy region.
In terms of tobacco, the Récolte 1989 demands a cigar with personality given its rich palette of flavours. For this, I would favour either a Davidoff Late Hour or even an Alec Bradley Black Market Estelí.
If neither of those are available, a well-matured Maduro cigar with a particularly oily wrapper would be perfectly fitting.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
Delord’s vintage Armagnacs are beautifully presented. Delivered is crate-style wooden boxes, the bottles are hand-stamped with wax seals. Furthermore, the cork itself is also hand-waxed. While this is indeed beautiful, it’s tricky to open for the first time without damaging it!
Furthermore, it came with a four-page brochure that explains the Armagnac process as well as the family’s long history in producing it. Given that I bought this in France, all the literature and label information was in French. Yet, I’m not sure if this will be translated for their exports.
Finally, the value for money is actually very good. In fact, it was surprisingly affordable at 60€ for 50 cl. While this may seem expensive, it’s quite cheap when compared with whiskies of a similar age.
Its availability is uncertain outside France. However, you might be able to find its 10 year-old blends in some parts of the USA. Having tried this too, I believe that it’s certainly worthwhile.
Delord’s Récolte 1989 Bas-Armagnac is a unique and thoroughly enjoyable experience. Well lesser known that the neighbouring cognac, the fruity palate and rich flavours are much more accessible to newcomers.
I’m both delighted and very grateful that my parents offered me this for Christmas and I’ll be sure to cherish and enjoy it the way it deserves.
If you ever stumble upon Delord’s Armagnacs, seize the opportunity to try it! A more artisanal alternative to cognac, it makes for a great talking piece as well as a unique experience.
"A rich experience with overt citrus notes. Whether you enjoy cognac or not, be sure to try Delord's armagnac as an alternative as well as a new experience."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★
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