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This takes place every year from November to March. Traditionally, the wines are distilled by the continuous method using Armagnac Stills. The design of this still was registered in 1818 under a royal warrant issued by order of King Louis XVIII.
alambic The wine is continuously fed through the still from the supply vat. It passes from the cooling column and then, by a route inverse to that of the alcohol, rises to be heated in a column known as the « wine heater ». It then passes through a coil which condenses the alcohol vapours. As it is heated, the wine rises and runs into the boiler where it is in its turn transformed into alcohol vapour which rises to flow over a number of plates in the boiler. The vapour bubbles through the wine, which then descends through the layers of boiler plates, gaining in the process a higher alcohol content and absorbing aromatic substances.
The colourless but strong and perfumed brandy assays at 52 to 72 % by volume when it leaves the still.
Distillation by this simple heating process (contrary to Cognac) has the advantage of preserving all the aromas of Armagnac, although it has the inconvenience of requiring a longer ageing process (something that lovers of Armagnac don't mind) in order to bring out its elegant and complex bouquet.
est un vieillissement nécessairement plus long et qui révèle un bouquet d'arômes élégant et complexe.
* à déguster avec modération !