In Gascony, where the Montal’s Armagnacs come from, time does its work slowly. The vineyards bear the fruit up to the moment of distillation and the miracle of the maturation process in the cellars. The Montal’s Armagnacs carry the richness of the soil that produces the wines. The connoisseurs of this world can choose from a prestigious list of the Montal’s Armagnacs.
The Bas-Armagnac region, with the best vineyards for Armagnac, houses hilly landscapes, alternating with dense woods nicknamed “Black Armagnac” due to their gloomy appearance. The mild and humid climate, together with the sunny autumn, ensures the subtle flavours and aromas.
The soil of the Bas-Armagnac, originating from the meeting of the land and sea, consists of rough sand and gives Bas-Armagnac its character and light aromas. The soil consists of gravelly clay, is lime-deficient and gives Bas-Armagnac Brandy its lightness and gentle fragrance of prunes. Another feature of the area is the pattern of vineyards and woods.
Grape varieties: Folle Blanche, Ugni-Blanc and Colombard are the traditional varieties from which Montal Armagnacs are made. White wines, which are particularly suited for distillation, are low in alcohol and quite acidic, fragrant, delicate and rounded. We then select the best vineyards.
Our method of vinification is entirely natural and artificial additives are not permitted. The wine is distilled immediately after harvesting, so that the maximum aroma can be retained.
Distillation: Armagnac still uses a copper still or “large organ” that enables vapours to rise; this under the watchful eye of the master distiller who takes care of the proper balance of aromas and fruity flavours, as well as the character and the style of our Brandy.
The maturation process: the 100-gallon Armagnac oak barrels are made from old white oak trees from the woods of Monlezun and Le Frêche. This type of oak is best suited for the barrels for excellent brandy and provide the distinctive character. The evaporation of eau-de-vie, also known as “the Angels’ share”, takes place in the cool air of our cellars, and that ensures a natural reduction process. An exchange takes place between the eau-de-vie, the fibres of the oaks and the air.
The Château de Rieutort, where the Montal Armagnacs are aged, is located in the heart of Gascony. Olivier de Montal, a real musketeer, personally selects the barrels that are paired for bottling. The family business
The Montal harvests in the Bas Armagnac (the “Premier Cru” of the Armagnac region) the Folle Blanche, Ugni Blanc, Bacco (The Bacco grape creates the pleasant aroma of prunes) and Colombard grapes.
This region produces the best Armagnac and the grape varieties are known for their high acid content and low alcohol production that provide the intensity.
From tradition, Olivier de Montal knows how to select the right moment for distillation. This knowledge, the climate, the soil condition of the Bas-Armagnac, gravelly clay and lime deficiency, provide the subtle taste and aroma characteristic of this Armagnac.
Distillation takes place in three different Armagnac distilleries; “Athos”, “Porthos” and “Aramis” named after the three musketeers. Aging takes place in white oak barrels of 400 litres. The unusually long ageing process gives Armagnac of De Montal its golden colour and the aroma of vanilla, lilacs and especially plums.