Domaine de Charron 2003


The vineyard of Domaine de Charron has been around since the early twentieth century in Bas-Armagnac. In 1985, brothers Jaques and Claude Lartigue revived armagnac production just before the vines were to be pulled up by their father, Fernand. Their brandy is made entirely from Baco grapes, aged exclusively in new oak, and bottled without dilution. This expression from the 2003 vintage was aged for eighteen years and weighs in at 50.4%.


On the nose, I get hardwood smoke, soil, dark chocolate, dusty oak, licorice, black pepper, cooked mushroom, maple syrup, and spearmint. So far, it’s a little hushed and one dimensional.

Going for a sip, I’m relieved to find that the palate has more going on than the nose implied. It has the flavor of oatmeal topped with cooked apple, maple syrup, and cinnamon. There’s a little dried spearmint, treacle, and banana Laffy Taffy on the side.


My experience of this is similar to the experience I had with 1990 Pouchégu: pretty good, not really my preferred style, and the older vintages are probably better. I like the more mellow profile and breakfast bowl flavors, but the hefty new oak influence doesn’t quite do it for me. As with the Pouchégu, it’s probably worth seeking out an older expression. (6/10)