Domaine de Jouanda is one of the best Bas-Armagnac producers, and one of the few Armagnac producers that remains family owned. The Poyferré family (who once also owned Saint-Julien estate Ch. Léoville Poyferré) has a history in the region stretching back five centuries. They purchased the Bas-Armagnac estate in 1879 and have been producing fine Armagnac there since at least 1887.
While the spirits are rightly revered in France, they are less known elsewhere. The Poyferré family invests any profits into the historic estate, ensuring that quality remains as high as it has always been.
The philosophy here is to keep things extremely traditional. They farm 8.5 hectares of in the village of Arthez-d’Armagnac. The vines are split between Ugni Blanc and Baco; the Baco for its roundness, soft texture and ripe fruit aromatics that emerge with age, the Ugni Blanc to add finesse to the spirits. The property’s sandy soils with iron and clay produce typically delicate, fruit-forward Armagnacs. Single distillation (versus double for Cognac) is in a traditional continuous copper still, preserving the fruit character in the spirit. The spirits are then aged in new oak barrels, all sourced from Bartholomo – a small, local family cooperage.
Domaine de Jouanda only releases its Armagnacs after a minimum 20 years in barrel, exclusively as vintage bottlings. Production is miniscule, with less than 1,000 bottles released each year.
Today the estate is run by Baronne Laurence de Poyferré and her husband.