Armagnac: Saint Christeau 1990 & Tariquet Blanche

Another Saint Christeau Armagnac, and a weird one. The Tariquet Blanche is not just 100% folle blanche (which is the grape), it is also a blanche Armagnac. Which is just a fancy way of saying they didn’t bother to age it.

Now that sounds awfully negative. It just means it’s an unaged Armagnac. A bit like a newmake spirit in the world of whisky, or any other term for spirit that hasn’t come of age yet. This bottle was added to the bottle share by the retailer I bought the bottles at. I guess he felt kind of guilty for having to change a lot of the vintages because of his site not being up to date (the 1995, Selection, 1934 and 1968 were no shows).

It’s an interesting take on the spirit I’m trying to figure out and it is something that’s rather uncommon.

What’s strange about it, is that I was told they were the only stockist in The Netherlands since they import it themselves. However, upon 3 seconds of Googling, I found a regular whisky supplier also stocking it, at a similar price. Are there multiple importers? Does the first shop sell it to the second and function as a intermediary? Interesting…

Tariquet Blanche, unaged Armagnac, 46%

Very raw fruit distillate and more like brandy that what I expect from Armagnac. It smells like an okay product, but somehow I cannot find that thing that makes Armagnac Armagnac. Sharp, alcohol and quite generic.

The palate is sweet and sharp. Quite ‘hard’ and peppery. Dry with lots of untamed alcohol. Coarse. The sweetness and fruit flavors come in but are very late to the party.

The finish goes back to raw brandy, alcohol and fruit distillate. Something fatty, somehow.

How to review this? I’m not sure. It might be a decent product. It might be well made. The drawback is that there’s absolutely nothing appealing about it and even though it might be well made and decent, I see no reason why this is available. It’s a generic fruit spirit and could be replaced by anything. So, some people might like this kind of stuff, but I don’t like it at all.

It’s not expensive, at € 25, but I’d prefer any of the other Armagnacs to this.


Saint Christeau 1990 – April 2009, 40.6%

This has lots of oak, right off the bat. Slightly alcoholic. Except for the missing corn sweetness this could be bourbon. Sweet and slightly fruity, old and moldy grapes. Light, but rather nice.

A slight tingling on the palate with milk chocolate and the fattiness that goes with it. Quite dry with alcohol, lots of oak. Sweet, fruit and raisins.

The finish is long and sweet with sweet fruitiness. Raisins with a light dryness. Crisp, still.

This is more what I expect from an Armagnac. And even though it’s quite a lot younger than some bottles in the bottle share, it’s a really nice drink. It’s quite affordable at € 33.65 (can you imagine?) and very much worth the price.

I like this one better than the 1987, even though that was a really nice one too. If you’re on a budget, I think I’d go for this instead of a similarly priced whisky. The flavors are rather deep with lots of layers. Fruits and lots of oak. It all works well.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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1 Response to Armagnac: Saint Christeau 1990 & Tariquet Blanche

  1. Pingback: Baron Gaston Legrand, 1995, 40% (and a wrap up) | Malt Fascination

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