Francis Darroze have been ageing and selling fine Armagnac in Roquefort, in the heart of the Landes region, for two
generations. This family business established in 1974 has built up a fine reputation for quality and expertise. It offers a
unique collection of treasures for connoisseurs of great Bas-Armagnac. Now, Marc Darroze selects the Armagnac he'll
offer in his Unique Collection from forty estates, all in Bas-Armagnac. The owners of all these estates work in close
conjunction with Darroze to maintain the highest standards. Darroze distillates by a well-reputed mobile distiller, or
directly at the estate in pot stills. Darroze Armagnac is made in the time-honored, traditional way. The shipper's art of
blending does not come into play here. Armagnac from each terroir and each vintage is kept separate and it is never diluted
to reduce the alcoholic degree. Each Armagnac is sold under the name of the estate that produced it. No artificial coloring
or water is added. Armagnac usually has 53% alcohol by volume, occasionally 56% or 57%. As a sign of respect for each
producer, each Armagnac is bottled separately, estate by estate. The bottling is made to order, and this bottling date is
always printed on the back label. These great Bas armagnacs are aged in new black Gascon oak barrels for 2-3 years, then
in barrel for 10-15 years, followed by further ageing until full maturity in barrels that have lost all their tannins. After a
maximum of 50 years in barrel, the Armagnac is either bottled or put into demijohns. Darroze cares for over 120 different
Armagnacs, in 500 barrels... 35 vintages currently on sale, from 1904 to 1990 while the 1990-2002 vintages are currently
ageing. 30,000 bottles of vintaged Bas Armagnacs are sold per year, mostly sold to restaurants and fine wine and spirits
shops. Half is sold in France and half exported.
|For three generations, the Darroze family has been dividing its time and passions between cooking and Armagnac.
The adventure started in the 1950s and 1960s when Jean Darroze scaled the heights with the family restaurant in Villeneuve de Marsan, right in the heart of Bas-Armagnac. He shared his passions and his work with his children all of whom played a part in the national and internationally renowned family restaurant.
It was here that Francis, the youngest member of the family, was in charge of the wine list and of course the Armagnacs. During his regular visits to the different vineyards, Francis acquired an extraordinary collection of eaux de vies coming from all different areas in the Bas Armagnac region.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Francis decided to age the eaux de vies himself, in his own cellar and under his sole control. He hunted throughout the Gascony countryside far and wide searching for the best barrels from different estates. In more than 30 years, the Darroze family collection grew and today amounts to an impressive 250 different armagnacs coming from 30 properties and including more than 50 vintages.
Today, Helene, the eldest daughter of Francis, continues the family culinary tradition. Her restaurants in Paris are well known for the quality of the products and the sincerity of their cuisine.
Her brother Marc, trained as an oenologist, takes care of the Armagnacs’ ageing. He works with the same rigor and passion that characterizes his father.