The Armagnac region is located 100 miles south of the city of Bordeaux and is divided into three subdistricts: Bas-Armagnac, Ténarèze and Haut-Armagnac. Bas-Armagnac (lower Armagnac, so named for its lower altitude) is close to the Pyrenees Mountains on the Spanish border. Its unique location provides a rich, sunny exposure, temperate climate, and excellent humidity in the spring and early summer. The sandy, acidic soil of Bas-Armagnac makes it the premier area for producing brandy grapes. Iron minerals in the sand give the wine a touch of colour and contribute to its pleasant flavouring.
Composed mainly of Ugni Blanc, Lhéraud’s armagnacs are also produced from Folle Blanche that contributes elegance plus floral and fruity notes, as well as Baco Blanc that provides the traditional prune taste found in many armagnacs.
Rather than being double-distilled as cognacs are, most armagnacs — including Cognac Lhéraud’s — are distilled only once. Distillation occurs in a traditional armagnac pot beginning in November or December and ending in February. Lhéraud armagnacs are aged in Limousin and Monlezun oak barrels, during which time evaporation concentrates the alcohol. As a result, armagnacs, like cognacs, are gradually cut with water, or petites eaux, a weak mixture of water and Armagnac, to bring their final alcohol level down to 40 percent or 80 proof. The Bas-Armagnac 1942 was distilled in 1942 and aged in oak until it was bottled.