INVENTING TOMORROW’S ARMAGNACSCROLL
Château de Laubade
Founded in 1870
Château de Laubade is an agricultural and winegrowing estate located in Sorbets, in the Gers, in the heart of the finest Bas Armagnac terroir. The 105-hectare estate in a single block around the château, built in 1870, has been in the Lesgourgues family for three generations. Today, Denis, assisted by his sister, Jeanne, and brother, Arnaud, continue their family’s constant striving for excellence, with the aim of producing the most outstanding Armagnacs.
Today, the Lesgourgues family’s legendary Armagnacs are created using ancient craft methods, while maintaining a constant spirit of innovation and environmental responsibility.
A benchmark in France and in over 50 countries, on the finest tables and the most prestigious hotels, bars and wine shops in the world, the magnificent mansion has witnessed over 150 years of history.
Owned by well-known figures of the late 19th century, like its founder Joseph Noulens, an eminent French stateman, and his wife, Jeanne Paquin, a famous Parisian fashion designer, Château de Laubade has withstood the test of time, combining tradition and modernity. Logically, the estate is one of the first three Armagnac houses to be awarded with the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant certificate in 2015 and has held ISO 9001 quality assurance since 2008.
Named Spirit of the Year 2020 by La Revue des Vins de France, Château de Laubade is the most awarded Armagnac house with 250 accolades in the most prestigious competitions in France and around the world such as Talents de l’Armagnac in Eauze, Concours Général Agricole in Paris, San Francisco World Spirits Competition (USA), Ultimate Beverage Challenge (NY, USA), International Wine and Spirits Competition and International Spirits Challenge (London) and the World Spirits Awards.
The vineyard is planted on gentle slopes, where the soils contain high proportions of tawny sand and sandy clay, characteristic of the greatest Bas Armagnac terroirs. Respect for nature is an obvious principle and has always been a fundamental value in the estate’s production philosophy. Many initiatives implemented by the Lesgourgues family over nearly 50 years have focused on sustainable pest control as a key factor in vineyard management. Soil biodiversity is promoted by using green manure in our vineyards and mechanical weeding under the rows, as well as improving the soil by growing cereals.
This virtuous, sustainable model is supported by initiatives such as keeping a flock of 600 sheep to produce organic manure and the bold choice of using Baco, a grape variety resistant to vine diseases. Finally, no fewer than 15 hectares of Gascony oak and 10 hectares of poplars make a major contribution to the sustainability of this approach, while reducing the estate’s carbon footprint.
The art of distillation
White wines with no added sulfites are distilled just after alcoholic fermentation to retain their full aromatic potential, in a single “Armagnac-style” still, custom-built in 1974.
Each of the six grape varieties grown on the estate, including Baco, Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard goes through this “single continuous distillation” process separately, controlled by our in-house distillers. Distillation follows the precise specifications of the cellarmaster, adapted to the characteristics of each vintage. The objective is to maximize the extraction of organoleptic compounds, thanks to exchanges between the wine and alcohol vapor in the distillation column. The alcohol content of the distillate is controlled by tasting and adapted to suit each grape variety.
Aging & Patience
Everything started with the initial vision of Maurice Lesgourgues, who decided that the eaux-de-vie should be aged for a long time before bottling, in order to obtain the highest-quality Armagnac. Patience… to ensure excellence! Optimum aging of the eaux-de-vie is a demanding process, requiring perfect control at every stage and extreme attention to detail.
First of all, Château de Laubade selects and seasons stave wood from Gascony pedunculate oaks on the estate, which is then custom-crafted into barrels by local coopers. Then, the greatest care is taken during the eaux-de-vie aging phase: regular aeration and alternating periods in cellars with lower and higher humidity, new and older barrels, etc. Wine spirits from different grape varieties and vintages are aged separately, in nearly 3,000 420-liter barrels in the nine on-site aging cellars.
François Laura, the house’s Cellar Master and the Lesgourgues family taste each batch regularly to select them for blending once they reach their peak. Guaranteeing full traceability of the eaux-de-vie d’Armagnac and transparency for consumers is standard practice at this estate. Consequently, each bottle and decanter are systematically labelled with the bottling date and batch number.
Inventing tomorrow’s Armagnac
Today, this alliance between tradition and innovation has contributed to the global recognition of Château de Laubade Armagnac.
Château de Laubade not only defends the traditions of Gascony in the Bas Armagnac area, but also has a long history of innovation in its production and distribution philosophy. The Lesgourgues family fosters this spirit of innovation with the goal of inventing the Armagnac of the future. They have focused particularly on reintroducing indigenous grape varieties (Baco and Plant de Graisse), the unusual practice of aging in foreign barrels, and, finally, their talent for developing new high-end blends.
The Armagnac of the future will be irreproachable in terms of its eco-friendly approach, ensuring the satisfaction of those who make it, reducing its carbon footprint, and providing unrivalled enjoyment to connoisseurs around the world. This is what the Lesgourgues family strive for unceasingly, day by day, year after year, boosted by the consumer confidence they have built up over three generations.