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Château de Laubade

an indisputable reference of the Armagnac

Interview of Denis Lesgourgues,
co-owner with his brother Arnaud, and representing the 3rd generation.

Please tell us the story of Château de Laubade.
With 105 hectares all in one piece, Château de Laubade is the most important estate of Armagnac. Remarkable fact, we produce only Armagnac, all our wines are distilled and thus all our efforts in the vineyard have a single purpose: Armagnac. The property was created in 1870 and Joseph Noulens has swiftly become its best ambassador (statesman of the Clémenceau government). The owner of that time helped the domain a lot by his political influence. In 1974, my grandfather Maurice, from the Landes but a Gascon above all, discovers rather by chance the estate of Laubade: he literally falls in love with the place. My father's ambition was to turn Laubade into the "Hermès" of the Armagnac! Ten years of human and financial efforts were necessary to replant the vineyard, equip the estate with a one-colum Armagnac still, and to acquire Gascony oak barrels to master a qualitative ageing of the eaux-de-vie. Since fifteen years, Arnaud and myself have taken over and pursue this quest for excellence!

Your Armagnacs meet an international success.
I sincerely think that Château de Laubade, from the early 80s, was a precursory in the raise of the vintage Armagnacs. I pay tribute to my father Jean-Jacques, who chose to stand out and strongly believed in the vintages: the future proved he was right. The vintage Armagnacs represent a third of our sales, a record within Armagnac! (Laubade is present in 50 countries). Furthermore, we present our different Armagnacs in the most prestigious competitions, with more than 150 medals and prizes, we are very proud to be the most prize-winning Armagnac house.

Arnaud and Denis Lesgourgues

Your Armagnac distinguishes itself especially
thanks to the importance of the Baco grape variety.

Yes, Baco which was in danger of disappearing because of the European Union in the 90s, is "the" emblematic grape variety of Armagnac. In our ambitious replanting programme (5 hectares a year), we favour Baco (and to a lesser extent Folle Blanche). With more than 30 hectares of Baco, we are the first producer. Very proud to defend this vine, but especially convinced that it widely contributes to the quality, to the specificity and to the great complexity of Armagnac. For ageing, it is the top!

You propose a very beautiful collection on 3 themes,
in each moment of consumption?

The classics are our inescapable products. For their balance and their roundness, I recommend our INtemporel Hors d'Âge, XO and Extra to enjoy after a lunch or a dinner.

The hedonists are exceptional Bas-Armagnac, very rare. For special opportunities and our "fans" who want a "special" treatment.

The vintages are at the same time a discovery, a journey, because they all have their personality. I like tasting great vintages like the 1988 or even the 1974 and the 1962 with my family or with friends, taking time to smell the aromas of each and to keep for a long time their complex and brilliant finish on the palate …

From Armagnac to art there is only one step at Château de Laubade?
Absolutely! From the 80s, my father, a great collector, wished to embellish our wine estates (Laubade but also “Haut Selve”in the Graves and “Peyros” in Madiran) by integrating pieces of art in the vineyards and near the chateaus. The objective is that the artist is inspired by the places to create a work in touch with our art, but also with men and women who are the everyday players. After a break of 10 years, with Arnaud we started a new cycle of patronage!

Novelties or projects for 2015 ?
From the artistic point of view, we are going to launch a call for projects to choose an artist who will create in 2016 a work in a magnificent old dovecote. As for our products, our “from the barrel” range meets more and more success, especially with sommeliers of the great restaurants and the luxury hotel bars. We have just added the magnificent 1985 vintage (48.4 % ABV) and on 1992 (50.8 % ABV). They are rare but wonderful! Besides, a project of top-notch blend is being thought for 2016.

Propos recueillis par Charlynne Zirah


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