Review: Domaine Tariquet VS Classique and VSOP Armagnac (2021)
Will the real Tariquet please stand up? This longtime producer of Armagnac has operated under so many name variations I’ve lost the plot. In 2009 it was Domaine du Tariquet, then in 2015 and 2016 was bottling as Chateau du Tariquet. Now we’re back to Domaine Tariquet, without the “du.”
The good news is that it’s all still from the same producer, really, offering a wide range of brandies from Armagnac’s largest region, Bas-Armagnac. Today we take a fresh look at the two youngest aged offerings from the company. (Spoiler alert: No big changes for the brand.)
Both are 80 proof.
Domaine Tariquet Armagnac VS Classique (2021) – 60% Ugni Blanc and 40% Baco grapes; at least 3 years old. Bold and quite woody on the nose, with notes of baking spices, nougat, and just some hints of sweet raisins in the mix. The palate is surprisingly whiskeylike, with ample vanilla and caramel in the mix, and a somewhat surprising chocolate component. Straightforward with lingering oak notes, the finish is dry with a touch of chimney soot, mixed fruits, and a layer of roasted nuts. Nothing earth-shattering, but it’s a solid cocktailing base. B / $40
Domaine Tariquet Armagnac VSOP (2021) – Same grape makeup, 5 to 7 years old. A little sultrier and more rounded, but the same heavy bourbon barrel influence dominates on the VSOP. More spice and more raisin on the nose, with a clearer nuttiness throughout. Rounded vanilla elements give the brandy a more enduring sweetness and a stronger sense of fruit on the tongue, with a lush caramel overtone that pushes into the gently raisiny finish. Buttery notes of banana bread and gingerbread spice really prop up and lengthen the denouement, elevating this bottling well above the only slightly cheaper VS expression. A- / $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]
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