Pellehaut is an Armagnac producer with which I was unfamiliar before receiving a sample of its Reserve Le Bel Age bottling, which is made from a blend of ugni blanc and folle blanche grapes planted between 1990 and 1992. Aged for an average of 10 years in barrel, it isn’t billed as an XO though it is old enough to qualify as one.
Notes of dried flowers, perfume, and incense immediately establish this as a more floral, lighter-bodied Armagnac — in contrast to what is more typical of the style, which tends to be bolder, sweeter, and more extracted. There’s lots of fruit on the palate, along with a gentle milk chocolate note, which melds surprisingly well with notes of rose petals and more of that incense character. On the finish, things sweeten up further, showing relatively straightforward graham cracker and caramel notes. It’s a touch thin on the back end, but this works well enough given the overall light body and gentle flavor profile of the brandy. It’s definitely worth picking up at this price.
80 proof. Bottled 20.10.18.
A- / $50 / pellehaut.com