Janneau 1988 Dragon Vintage Armagnac 48.8% 70cl

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Janneau 1988 Dragon Vintage Armagnac is 30 years old in 1988 and will make a fantastic 30th birthday or 30th anniversary present in 2018.

Janneau’s Dragon Vintage releases comprise vintage Armagnacs from 1964, 1976 and 1988 released to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. The Year of the Dragon is very important to the Chinese around the world, as it is considered the luckiest year of all and, according to the Chinese zodiac, each one vintage selected represents a different Dragon: 1988 is the Earth Dragon, 1976 is the Fire Dragon, 1964 is the Wood Dragon. The labels of each vintage feature a different dragon, the designs of which are copied from dragons decorating the walls of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Janneau is one of the top Armagnac houses and lead the field in terms of quality and innovation. It was founded by Pierre Etienne Janneau in 1851. Janneau Armagnac has been through some ownership changes since then –  it was bought by Cognac Martell in the 1970s, which was eventually bought out by Seagram, before the Giovinetti family bought it in 1993 with the intention of returning the business to a family-run concern. Today the business is run by Fabio Giovinetti.

Janneau 1988 Dragon Vintage Armagnac is produced from a single cask of Armagnac made from grapes harvested, vinified and distilled in 1988. It is made from 100% Ugni Blanc grapes from the sub-region of Tenarèze. The Armagnac is produced using the double distillation method using pot stills at the Janneau distillery at Condom, Gers in the south western department of Gascony. Only the heart of the distillation, the best part left after the heads and tails are discarded, are used to produce this brandy which gives it great finesse with concentrated, fruity flavours. After distillation the vintage Armagnac is carefully aged in French Limousine oak barrels until it is ready to be bottled.  In barrel, the Armagnac leaches vanillins and tannins from the toasted oak which lend the spirit colour and flavours – without barrel ageing the spirit is just a colourless liquid. The depth of colour and complexity of flavours increase all the time the spirit is aged in cask and the colour becomes darker with age ranging from pale straw to rich amber. As well as becoming darker in colour as Armagnac ages it also becomes softer,  smoother and more elegant on the palate whilst aromas and flavours of prunes, violets, fig, honey, butterscotch and rancio develop.

Janneau 1988 Dragon Vintage Armagnac is bottled at 48.8% ABV is presented in an individual wooden box decorated with a dragon. Only 400 x 70cl and 200 x 50cl bottles were produced.

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