Armagnac is France’s oldest and finest brandy. Even to this day Armagnac remains a craft industry with small, artisanal producers using historic production methods and little or no advertising or international marketing. All Armagnac is produced in the Gascony region to the southeast of Bordeaux.
Loujan lies within the historical confines of the “Grand Bas Armagnac”. The temperate oceanic climate delivers mild winters, rainy springs, hot summers and a sunny autumn. The retreating ocean, has left behind an acidic, light and rich alluvial ‘tawny sand’. The Landes Forest is located close to the Bas-Armagnac vineyards, creating a natural barrier, thus, helping dramatically to regulate the temperature and rainfall. These climatic conditions and soil are a perfect match for producing fine brandy.
Loujan is traditionally distilled in a single continuous still known as , an Alambic Armagnacais. This process of heating the wine until it produces steam, capturing the rich, full bodied aromas in a pure and unaltered fashion, then converting the steam to the final ‘Eau de vie”, is exactly what sets Armagnac apart from other fine brandies.
Armagnac is typified by its rich, full bodied characteristics, showing strong primary fruit. It is dominated by dried fruit flavours, with hints of vanilla, leather, almonds and hickory. Aromatics consist of undiluted smokey and earthy overtones.
The Vines at Domaine Loujan - Baco, Folle Blanche and Ugni Blanc
Serge Valdennaire, a neighbor who also raises his own grapes, cares for the vines. Working with Serge, Marc and Jean Paul Gabard, an environmental soil consultant, we prepare a detailed plan each year to assure the best possible care for the vines. In 2009 we applied to be certified as an organic producer and after the required three year probation period Domaine Loujan was officially certified "Organic" in 2012 and has been re-certified "Organic" each year since then.
We have also added a modest quantity of Folle Blanche grape vines and increased the portion of the Baco vines through new plantings and by grafting a portion of the existing Ugni Blanc vines. Currently we have a total of 5.5 hectares (approximately 14 acres) in vines with about 50% Baco, 40% Ugni Blanc and 10% Folle Blanche.
All of the Lougan Bas Armagnac brandies have been blended together by the great Marc Darroze, of Armagnac Darroze.
10 year old
All of the Armagnac in the Loujan Bas Armagnac 10 year old has been aged in local French oak barrels for more than ten years. Almost 90% of it was distilled from grapes grown at Domaine Loujan in 2000 and 2002 and the remainder was purchased from neighboring domaines and aged even longer in oak. It was produced from approximately 60% Ugni Blanc and 40% Baco grapes and is bottled at cask strength (currently 48.1% alcohol). We have been informed that it is a favorite at the famous Harrod's department store in London.
”Golden color with chestnut highlights. On the nose, warm scents of candied citrus, overripe pear and quince give way on aeration to honey and precious spices. Magnificent. On the palate the attack is soft with silky tannins. The balance between aromas, tannins and alcohol is sensational. One discovers aromas similar to those on the nose such as quince, candied mandarin orange peel and even toasted almond oil. The finish is particularly long.” Marc Darroze - Armagnac Darroze
12 year old
”Gold color with darker tints. Very fresh nose where the fruity flavors are dominant — orange peel, prune. The second nose is spicy showing some matured flavors like vanilla and honey. On the palate, the tannins are round and complex for an Armagnac of this age. It’s still very young (fruits, linden taste) but also mature and complex with a high quality of tannins.”
Marc Darroze - Armagnac Darroze
The Domaine Loujan Vintage 2000 is the first bottling of Armagnac produced entirely at Domaine Loujan. The year 2000 not only began the millennium and was the first year we owned Domaine Loujan, but it was also a wonderful year for grapes in the Armagnac region both in terms of the quality and quantity. Produced from 80% Ugni Blanc grapes and 20% Baco grapes, the Vintage 2000 was distilled in late October 2000 before being aged and estate bottled at cask strength (currently 46.5% alcohol). We are proud to note that the Domaine Loujan 2000 was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the most respected and influential sprits competition in the world and was a "Highly Recommended" in F Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal (June 2016)
"Beautiful clear gold color with amber highlights. On the nose this Armagnac has an aromatic complexity that only spirits of the highest quality possess: candied fruits (prune, quince and fig), spices (licorice, ginger bread) and toasted bread. Magnificent. These give way to aromas of walnuts, dark tobacco and leather. The tannic structure on the palate not only allows one immediate enjoyment of this Armagnac but it also lets one foresee its long ageing potential. Fruit aromas are still present (candied apricot, candied orange peel) though with delicate spices now showing through. Such is the richness of this Armagnac that it fills the whole mouth with waves of unending flavors." Marc Darroze - Armagnac Darroze