Bottled in 2019, the 1960 Castarede is one of the most elegant Armagnacs we’ve tasted to date. Heading into dessert territory, it opens with sustained, high pitch aromas of sticky date and pecan pie unfolding with hints of salted-caramel chocolate and Grand Muscat. Showing no loss of vitality after six decades in oak, it’s seductive and silky with a superb rush of fruit cake, baking spices, rancio and café crèmes framed by super fine tannins and a creamy finish that’s briefly succulent and fabulously long. Reference point here is the Dartigalongue house style. It should equally please lovers of Hors d’age Cognac. 40% Alc./Vol.
Maison Castarède is a family-run Armagnac house with centuries of distilling history. It is based just south of the town Mauléon d'Armagnac within the Bas Armagnac subregion. The Castarède estate has a 17th century château that has been the site of distillation and aging since it was acquired by the family in the late 20th century. The company began as an Armagnac négociant in the early 1800s under the name Jules Nismes Delclou & Cie. In 1818, the family was ennobled by Louis XVIII and were able to adopt the Castarède name to the business, which became the first declared Armagnac trading house after being entered into an official trade registration in 1832. The family purchased Château de Maniban in the 1980s, which has subsequently become Castarède's headquarters. The château and estate are named for its original owners, the Maniban family, who are credited with first introducing the court of Toulouse to Armagnac. The Château de Maniban estate covers 16 hectares (40 acres) of vineyards, primarily planted with Folle Blanche, Ugni Blanc, Colombard and Baco Blanc, which was introduced into the vineyard in 2015. The vines are planted on clay and loam soils with high acidity and iron content. Distilling is done in an alembic continuous still that is more than 50 years old, and the freshly distilled eau-de-vie is transferred to new French oak barrels for aging. After several years the spirit is moved to older barrels for the rest, and majority, of its aging.