Château de Lacquy is a historic name in the Bas-Armagnac region, with roots in the 18th century. As a true master of the house, Gilles de Boisséson continues to write the pages of an estate that defies time and fashion.
Built in the 18th century, Château de Lacquy was always related to Bas-Armagnac. It has belonged to the Boisséson family for 10 generations, making it the oldest family-owned estate producing armagnac. Bought in 1711, it was originally dedicated to the production of armagnac. The current building dates from 1777 and was enhanced with two wings in 1910. Since the eighteenth century, the estate has been renowned for the quality of its spirits distilled from Folle Blanche. The estate controls the entire production chain from the vines to in-house distillation and the bottling process.
The estate spans across 400 hectares and has adopted the Gascon tradition of mixed farming: vines are planted alongside vegetables and cereals. Moreover, the park is mostly made up of oak trees and shelters an abundant fauna, with a special emphasis on wild animals (deers, wild boars, wood pigeons, hares…).
Located at 120 meters of altitude, in the north of the Bas-Armagnac appellation, Château de Lacquy borders the Parc Naturel Régional des Landes de Gascogne. In fact, the soils are made up of a thin clay-limestone layer covered with 30 to 40 meters of tawny sand. These soils are ideal because they capture water from underground springs and naturally irrigate the vines.
The influence of the Atlantic Ocean is felt in the humid oceanic climate that bathes the domain. Relatively mild on average, large differences in temperature can nevertheless be felt during the day in summer when violent storms occur.
Out of the 400 hectares of the estate, 25 (soon 30) hectares are dedicated to the vineyard, 18 of which are distilled. Château de Lacquy cultivates in equal parts Baco, which flourishes particularly on the tawny sands of Bas-Armagnac, Folle Blanche (replanted in 2002) and Colombard. Ugni Blanc was cultivated and distilled until 2007. It is no longer used because the tawny sands do not allow it to express itself in an optimal way.
The vineyard is managed in a sustainable way: no herbicides or insecticides are used and inputs are limited to a strict minimum. Weeding is done mechanically. Rows of fruit trees are planted in the middle of the vines.
The vinification is carried out cold by grape variety and by parcel in order to guarantee traceability. Only the first press is vinified. The fine lees are kept after racking.
The distillation is carried out through a traditional 5-plate column still built by the manufacturer Sier in 1939. The still is heated with wood and distills quite slowly. The slow distillation coupled with the long worm condenser measuring 90 meters allows to obtain a rather delicate distillate. The ABV at the exit of the still is 52-54°.
The ageing process
The young armagnacs are placed in oak barrels of 400-420 litres made exclusively from pedunculate oak (quercus robur). Unlike sessile oak (quercus petraea), pedunculate oak has a coarser grain which makes it more porous and accelerates the setting of tannins and oxidation. A mix of new and old barrels with variable toasting levels, allows to increase the aromatic palette of the aged spirits.
Château de Lacquy has a humid cellar (containing about 500 barrels) and two dry cellars (containing about 140 barrels).
This collection includes 5 age statements (3 years old, 7 years old, 12 years old, 17 years old, 21 years old and 30 years old). The blends are made in 4000-liter tuns before being rested for a few months in old 420-liter barrels to allow a better homogenization.
The unique vintage barrels
Château de Lacquy bottles many vintage armagnacs cask strength. Bottled according to the demand, the armagnacs continue to age until the last bottle is filled. After 30 years, some armagnacs may be placed in demijohn if the cellar master feels the oak start to overwhelm the spirit.
The Carafe des Siècles
Created in 2011 for the estate’s tercentenary, the Carafe des Siècles contains spirits distilled between 1800 and 1980.
France represents 40% of sales, divided equally between professionals and individuals. The remaining 60% are sold internationally (England -> Italy -> USA -> Canada -> Japan -> Hong Kong -> Thailand -> Singapore…). Château de Lacquy is developing more and more on the Danish, Dutch, Spanish and Swiss markets.
The samples were kindly provided by the producer. They were tasted over a period of 30 min – 1 hour in the same tulip glasses. Château de Lacquy does not add any sweetener to its armagnacs. Bottles can be bought via the online store of the estate.
3 years old (100% Baco), 40,5° – 58€
Nose: opens with notes of chestnut paste and eucalyptus. The second ground is marked by floral notes of dandelion, chestnut honey, puffed rice, roasted pecans, hazelnut praline. Notes of angelica root and roasted apricots and prunes complete the ensemble in the background. With aeration, notes of quince and linden develop.
Palate: the attack is moderate. The mid-palate is round and expressive with notes of violet, milk chocolate filled with dried fruits (raisins, hazelnut), crème brûlée, blond tobacco and a touch of coffee. The finish is rather long with light notes of coffee cream.
12 years old (Folle Blanche, Baco and Colombard), 43° – 92€.
Nose: opens with notes of sweet spices and flower honey. The second ground is marked by notes of pollen, turmeric and fruits (apricots, pineapple, passion fruit). Notes of dried flowers complete the background. Airing brings out notes of dried fruits (lightly roasted almonds), melilot and candied fruits.
Palate: the attack is moderate. The mid-palate is rather dry and presents a woody framework accompanied by notes of almond, violet and dried apricot. The finish is of medium length, carried by spices (white pepper, nutmeg, camphor) and a touch of grapefruit.
Vintage 2008 – Barrel n°13 (100% Folle Blanche), 49° – 103€.
Nose: opens with floral notes of peonies and spices (nutmeg, clove). The second ground is marked by notes of varnished wood, camphor, caramel, fennel seeds. With aeration, some notes of rum/raisin ice cream and blond tobacco develop. Discrete notes of jasmine, linden and honeysuckle complete the ensemble in the background.
Palate: the attack is moderate. The mid-palate is dry, warm and marked by a floral (violet) and fruity (peach, plum, date) register. Some notes of roasted hazelnuts and cocoa can be felt in the background. The finish is rather long, carried by notes of blond tobacco, plum and a touch of liquorice.
Vintage 2001 – cask n°320 (100% Baco), 47° – 138€.
Color: deep amber.
Nose: rather shy at the beginning. Opens with notes of waxed wood and quince jelly. The second ground is marked by notes of camphor, black fruits (black cherry, blackberry), almond paste, hay. Notes of cedar and Armenian paper complete the background. With the aeration, some notes of sandalwood, vanilla and orangette appear.
Palate: the attack is moderate. The mid-palate is concentrated and presents notes of candied fruits, spices (vanilla, cinnamon), crème brûlée as well as a touch of liquorice. The finish is quite long with white pepper, eucalyptus and a slightly animal background.
The 3 year old 100% baco is a magnificent young armagnac that impresses by its texture and its maturity for its very young age. The 2008 vintage (100% Folle Blanche) takes a little time to reveal itself as an elegant spirit after a little airing while the 12 year old shows a more disciplined and balanced profile. Finally, like the 2008, the 2001 vintage (100% Baco) needs to be opened in advance to assert itself and develop a fine, balanced aromatic profile that never goes overboard. The vintage Armagnacs need a little more openness to fully reveal themselves.
In a nutshell
Founded in 1711, Château de Lacquy is the oldest family-owned estate producing Bas-Armagnac in activity. Located in the very north of the appellation, it takes advantage of the deep tawny sands and a viticultural approach that respects nature to make the Baco sing with panache, the Folle Blanche with elegance and the Colombard with strength. Led by an excellent 3 year old, the whole range unfolds armagnacs with varied profiles that remain always refined, fresh and balanced, all without exuberance. A timeless style, for a house that cannot be ignored.