Armagnac comes from France and is said to be one of the oldest distilled spirits. It is one kind of a brandy that can only be made in the Armagnac region in southwestern France. For armagnac production the same grapes are used as cognac, but the distillation is carried out using a different method. Armagnac is distilled once with a continuous column still, making its alcohol content 55-60%. It is about 10% less than in cognac, which is distilled in batches twice with an alembic still. Armagnac is matured in the same way in a French oak barrel and is also bottled according to the age classifications and also in different vintages. About 3 million bottles of Armagnac are produced per year, and about 50% of that is exported.
De La Maziere belongs to the La Martinique Group. The company’s production facilities are in the village of Condom, between Bordeaux and Toulouse. De La Maziere is an affordable and cost-effectively produced armagnac. Most of the production is exported to Eastern Europe, where it is sold at least in the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries. A 70 cl bottle cost €16.95 in Latvia.
De La Maziere is light brown in the glass, similar to blended whisky. The nose is light and quite original. It has a bit of fruit and raisin, something tobacco-like note. The taste is also quite light. It has raisins and some vegetal aroma. The taste is quite different from standard cognac or brandy. It is clearly a young armagnac, although the age group is not indicated on the bottle label. The taste has a bit of sweetness and is quite round, which is quite difficult to get hold of. The aromas seem to linger on the tongue and disappear quickly, and there is almost nothing left in the aftertaste. A small addition of water brings out more fruity aromas. However, it is not a very sharp booze, so it is perfectly fine to sip neat as well. De La Maziere is a rather interesting product and a nice variation for cognacs. It is very similar to VS cognac and the price range is also the same. The taste is perhaps a little drier than the basic cognacs. Considering the price and when it is known it is a rather low-quality product, I am looking forward to what the slightly more expensive Armagnacs have to offer.