Originally founded in 1807 by Jean Boingneres it has for six generations steadfastly maintained the often difficult path of never producing anything but the best armagnacs.
However, it was not until 1953 that the style of armagnacs began to change forever as Leon Lafitte took over the estate when his father-in-law died. He first expanded the vineyard area and second sold bottle stock directly to all the famous restaurants in France, where Boingneres reputation soon became second to none.
He later replanted the vineyards with his favourite grape varieties, principally folle blanche with some ugni blanc and colombard, for which he coined the phrase “Cepages Nobles”. He then built a new press house and ageing cellar and in 1975 a new still was purpose built by Ster to give the greatest extraction of flavour from the wines.
Today Martine Laffite carries on the Boingneres tradition of excellence. The Boingneres armagnacs are distilled to 52% (allowing the maximum of congeners to pass over into the spirit) and then aged in a very specific manner. Half of the new spirit is put into new charred casks of local oak — up to 15 casks per year — and aged for two years, before it is transferred to older wood. The other half goes into two year- old barrels where it remains until required for blending and bottling. No blending of vintages is done after the sixth year and the seperate varieties are carefully watched until Martine Laffite decides which proportion to blend together, or if the spirits should remain separate.
The Laffite family considers armagnac the noblest of products, a masterpiece. Perfection is the family’s everyday quest and this starts with the inimitable terroir of the domaine. The estate is situated in the commune of Le Freche, where the soil, a narrow strip of land only 25km by 8km, is dotted with springs and sheltered by the landes Forest. This small piece of the Bas Armagnac has soil of particular lightness, a siliceous clay mixed with sand and iron elements where only the finest brandies are produced.
HELP IN TASTING AN UNREDUCED ARMAGNAC
One can be taken aback by the strength and intensity of an unreduced Armagnac, particulary when relatively young (less than 15 years old) unless it is tasted in a specific way.
In order to appreciate its fullness and finesse, I recommend that after pouring a small quantity into a suitable glass , you wait a few minutes, aerating the liquid in the glass, then you should nose it gently to take in the complexity of its bouquet.
Then moisten your tongue with a few drops and “chew” on them with your mouth closed so as to line the tastebuds before you swallow.
Armagnac will give as much pleasure to the nose as to the palate. It should be nosed proportionately much more than drunk and the final pleasure is always to smell the empty glass, so so satisfactory.
This is how you will get to know a Bas-Armagnac: its cleanness, its finesse, its many flavours (prune, violet and quince among others). Its lenth on the palate, its elegance, in short its class and breeding.
HAPPY BOINGNERES ARMAGNAC DAYS