EXPERIENCE THE REAL FRENCH ART THE VIVRE WITH ARMAGNAC CASTARÈDE
Kept in the most exclusive cellars around the world and adored by the finest gourmets and eau-de-vie amateurs, Armagnac Castarède is one of the treasures you must discover if you want to experience the real French art de vivre.
A FAMILY HERITAGE
Florence Castarède is the sixth generation of a family ennobled by King Louis XVIII in 1818 and that in 1832 founded The Castarede House (that holds the family coat of arms) under the friendly pressure of the young baron Haussmann then sub-prefect of Nérac, making it the oldest trading house in the whole Armagnac area.
For 180 years, in cellars ideally situated at Pont de Bordes on the Baise riverbank and then in the Bas-Armagnac property of the Château de Maniban, the Castarède commitment and passion for Armagnac have remained constant and the water of eternal life has kept their enthusiasm forever young.
ARMAGNAC CASTARÈDE CONQUESTS THE WORLD
Today, Florence Castarède, who heads this family-owned Armagnac, travels the world over, sharing her extraordinary cultural and gastronomic family heritage and making taste the finest eau-de-vie in France, always with a positively catching joie de vivre, energy and appetite.
Answering the demand of his father (the extraordinary Jean Castarède) and inspired by the desire of meeting new civilisations,Florence took the reigns of the family business, dedicating her life to opening the distribution of Armagnac Castarède in most of international markets. This great Armagnac ambassador has made possible that today her family’s eau-de-vie is present in more than 50 countries around the world.
A dedication that has given great results as it is demonstrated by the numerous national and international awards and medals that Armagnac Castarède has received. Among the last distinctions we can underline the double gold medal 2015 at China Wine & Spirits Awards 2015 (CWSA) for Armagnac Castarède X0 20 years old and the gold medal 2015 for Armagnac Castarède 1975 at the Vth Challenge to the best French wines for Asia, in 2017, a Gold Medal for Armagnac Castarède XO, 20 years old at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris.
ARMAGNAC CASTARÈDE SERVED AT WORLD’S BEST RESTAURANTS
Armagnac Castarède is served in the most well known restaurants around the globe. It was served at the Gavroche in London during the most expansive diner of the world, among extraordinary bottles, and in 2003 it was selected as the official supplier for the G8 summit in Evian (France).
THE ARMAGNAC CUISINE
The most renowned French chefs have also created recipes using this Armagnac : “La dinde ivre à l’Armagnac” by Michel Guerard, “Le Babarmagnac” by Alain Ducasse, “ the « Perdreau de chasse rôti sur canapé et fondue de choux de Bruxelles au lard et aux cèpes » by Yannick Allieno, to name but a few. If you want to try, you can créate delicious dishes with the recipes of the book “La cuisine à l’Armagnac” by Jean and Florence Castarède published by Éditions Sud Ouest.
One of the latest innovations of Armagnac Castarède is a wonderful cocktail menu with such evoking names as Hemingway Bar, Saix en Provence, New Smoker, La Tiaulée, Castarède Old Fashioned, Le 1er Mai, Gascon de Mule, Le Sweet Christmas, Smoking Car, Sweet Chestnut, The Rhub’ Armagnac or Castarède Spring.
ARMAGNAC CASTARÈDE SHOWROOM IN THE HEART OF PARIS
Many years ago, Florence opened an Armagnac Castarède showroom in the heart of Paris. Located in 140 Boulevard Hausmman (in the 8th district and near the Jacquemart-André Museum), it provides a large range of blends and vintages from 1960 to 1996.
The house also offers the possibility to create customised labels for a gift or for a special event. The delivery from our cellars of old and rare vintages takes a few days.
The showroom organizes many events in collaboration with artists and writers. It also hosts twice a year (before Christmas and Spring) a producer of Champagne and a producer of foie gras for a special tasting of their products and to buy them.
THE MEDICAL PROPERTIES OF ARMAGNAC AND THE MOUSQUETAIRE’S D’ARMAGNAC COMPANY
Don’t you feel tempted to taste this eau-de-vie to which Maitre Vital Dufour (back in the 14th century) attributed 40 properties or efficiencies in his medical work «To keep your health and stay on top form»?
This “Fiery Water” or “Water of eternal life” -as he called it- could be a sort of “magic potion” that would explain the courage and excellent physical condition of one of the most famous of musketeers (born in this region), Charles de Batz, known as d’Artagnan, which exploits and conquests were immortalized by Alexandre Dumas in the “Three Musketeers .”
A legend to which the Mousquetaire’s d’Armagnac company continues today to pay tribute in numerous events in France and internationally. Florence Castarède is one of the members of this remarkable company.
THE PRODUCTION OF ARMAGNAC
The Armagnac Castarède is produced in the Château de Maniban, that is situated in the Bas Armagnac region, considered as the most highly rated ‘terroir’ of the whole Armagnac region and producing light, fruity, delicate and highly reputed eaux-de-vie. The jewel of the appellation – its Armagnacs are famous for being the finest, according to connoisseurs.
As Cognac, Armagnac is a distillation of white wines. These last ones are produced in a delimited area, which covers part of the Lot-et-Garonne, Gers and Les Langes regions. There are 4 types of grape varieties : the Ugni blanc (also known as saint-emilion, dominant since the phylloxera crisis), the Colombard, the Folle Blanche, also known as Piquepoult in Armagnac, dominant up to the XIXth century and the Baco.
The Armagnac production remains an artisanal process involving three steps: the vinification, the distillation and the ageing. The Castarède family handles the entire wine-making-process, distillation, ageing in wooden oak casks and bottling, which is carried out at the Château. The distillation process is one of the main differences between Armagnac and Cognac, another French famous eau-de-vie. There is a single and continuous distillation for Armagnac that gives more fragrance and flavors. In the case of Cognac, there is a doublé distillation with a high alcohol concentration at the end. The degree difference is shown at first time.
The region where Cognac is produced is closer to the sea, so a few centuries it was easier for transportation abroad, a fact that could explain why Cognac is better known than Armagnac. Once the distillation process finished, the eau-de-vie embraces the oak, “this dark tree, from our land, the one which smells of damp glebe and thieving beast”, so well described by 20th century Gascon writer and Armagnac lover, Joseph de Pesquidoux.
In these new casks a mysterious life begins. Exchanges between wood and alcohol soak up its tannins and essences to transform it and transfigure it. Part of the alcohol evaporates as if paying homage to nature, this is the “angels share”. A few years later, Armagnac is going to rest and mature quietly in old oak casks.
A process that gives as a result an impressive range of Armagnac: the range Armagnac Castarède (including the Brut de Fut collection), the range Château de Maniban or the range Nismes Delcou.
A wide selection that creates an extraordinary variety of blends (Armagnac Castarède Sélection/***/VS; Armagnac Castarède VSOP, Armagnac Castarède Hors d’Age/XO, the vintages) and tasting notes that you can discover on the company’s site. There you will discover the history of their tastings conducted by professionals for many years.
So if you want me to explain you in a few words what inspires me Armagnac Castarède I will tell you: a family heritage, the perfect mix between tradition and innovation, an artisanal process, and international award-winning eau-de-vie and the best made in France, could be the “magic potion” of musqueteers, “the Water of Eternal Life”, the ingredient of delicious top chefs recipes, Château de Maniban, the Bas Armagnac region, the treasure of a family ennobled by King Louis XVIII, delicious cocktails, Jean and Florence Castarède, a distribution all over the world….
I will end by remembering the beautiful words about Armagnac of Joseph de Pesquidoux :
“Crystal-clear and golden liqueur, fragrant to your lips, warm and smooth, a thousand virtues melted and concentrated within, those from the soil and its saps, those from the wood, from the heart of the oak tree where it sat back, forever imprinted with its wild taste, those from the sky, its dews and its rays,like an invisible touch…”