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Amazing Armagnac

epicure 28 June 2011
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Francis Darroze’s prized spirits are being introduced as digestifs at the Raffles Grill for the first time.

Robert Parker calls him the Pope of Armagnacs. Since 1974, Francis Darroze has been scouring the region of Bas-Armagnac, visiting wineries and selecting the finest brandies to age in his own cellar. Today, his collection spans more than 250 different armagnacs—with more than 50 vintages among them—from more than 30 producers. Darroze guns only for the cleanest spirit: he eschews adding water to the alcohol (a legal act practised by other producers) and does not blend Armagnacs of different domaines and vintages, to preserve the individuality of each spirit.

For the first time, his prized spirits are being introduced as digestifs at the Raffles Grill. The five vintages—10-year-old Reserve, 1988, 1965, 1949, 1947— selected by Raffles Hotel’s wine director Stéphane Soret were slumbering in their original oak barrels until the moment their orders had been received: the bottles, corked in wax seals, are adorned only with labels handwritten in the neat, cursive script typical of Darroze’s packaging. The 1965 vintage from Domaine de Peyrot is a deep, rich brandy with floral and chocolatey hints and a slow, seductive finish.

Prices start from $28 per glass. Raffles Hotel. Tel: 6337 1886

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