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1988 Domaine de Jouanda - Cask #222 "K&L Exclusive" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)

SKU #1457712

The incredible Domaine de Jouanda is one of the best estates that has remained essentially unknown despite an explosion in interest in the Armagnac category. Easily ranked as one of Bas-Armagnac's top estates by anyone who's ever tasted it, the family Poyferre has found success in France, but is not widely distributed stateside. This family, the same that once owned the excellent Chateau Leoville-Poyferre, commercialize their armagnacs more as family tradition than a profit-making endeavor. In fact, 100% of the profits from selling armagnac are returned to the upkeep of the historic estate where they're made, and the owners squeeze the brandy production in amongst other business endeavors. The Barons of Poyferre have owned the estate since 1880 and produced Armagnac there since at least 1887. Considering the commitment to tradition and quality, these brandies should be significantly more expensive. We pay a slight premium for the aristocratic lineage, but these remain some of the best values around. If you're looking for Boingniere quality at Tenareze prices, look no further than the fabulous Domaine de Jouanda. We tasted through nearly their entire cellar and selected the finest casks we could locate. The estate does not release casks or do any ullage until their brandies are at least 15 years old, so even older single barrels have incredible differences between them. This brandy was aerated just once before bottling. The result is a supple yet rustic example of this estate.

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Price: $99.99
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By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/25/2020 | Send Email
The intricacy of the 1988 is on another level entirely from the younger bottlings we selected. Caramelized brown sugar lends sweetness to an otherwise savory nose. A much more complete spirit, it requires more contemplation and consideration to pick out particular characteristics. While that's not great for the ease of writing a tasting note, it's exactly the kind of spirit I prefer to drink on my own time and is such a rarity, especially at affordable prices. Sweet fruit still persists even after 3 decades and is a foil to a wide array of air dried cooking herbs, umami sauteed mushrooms, leather, cigar box, sweet and bitter barks, and dried desert palm fruits. A single pour could be an evening's activity, both intellectual and hedonistic. It's a 10 out of 10.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/21/2020 | Send Email
I've talked up Jouanda a bunch, but this is the cask that truly bowled us over. Another right next door had been claimed the week before by our colleagues from Shinanoya in Japan, but we liked this cask even better. Now we're moving up a class in the Jouanda pantheon and we've ticked up a few notches on the complexity scale and we're getting into all those amazing flavors that are so unique to old Armagnac. The nose is a subtle bevy of graceful aromas - sandalwood, wormwood, freshly cured tobacco leaf, iberico ham, baked fruit breads, golden raisins and fennel seed. The wild nose translates to the palate nicely. Still the savory is in charge here. Deep damp cellar notes, dried morels, bitter herbs, with some of the fennel character leaning more caraway like. Still with plenty of vibrant fruit to keep it fresh - stewed peaches, flesh raisins and hints of mango. A very complex and pleasurable spirit that's more for the classic Armagnac drinker than the cross over whisky person. That said I'm certain any lover of great spirits will appreciate the complexity and nuance here.

By: Jennifer Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/2/2020 | Send Email
On the nose this 31 year old armagnac exhibits tropical notes of banana, pineapple and a hint of coconut even... you can smell a tiny bit of spicy notes and definitely complex flavors have developed this aged armagnac. Extremely complex and well-balanced, this toasted oak, dark chocolate, tobacco-y treat is a wonderful treat and/or a great gift!

By: Aaron Hughes | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/2/2020 | Send Email
With the extra age that the 1988 Domaine de Jouanda has seen, some tertiary flavors have come out to play. There's still beautiful fruit that's much more dried than ripe and the oak and barrel spices are showing themselves much more clearly with lovely cinnamon and clove notes and maybe just a hint of nutmeg buried deep. Beyond that there's a decent amount of leather and tobacco on the long and slightly spicy finish as well as a toasted herbal/spice component that edges into something slightly medicinal. This is a very complex and savory Armagnac from an outstanding producer and this bottle deserves a spot on your shelf.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2020 | Send Email
Candied fruits and a light note of varnish emanate from the nose and the finish is quite dry on this bottling. Not as powerful as the 2004, there is still a little heat here and a very persistent finish. The extra barrel aging gives a good amount of oak and outcompetes the fruit and sweetness. If you like a drier, more robust Armagnac with less caramel and fruit sweetness, this one is for you.

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