The first written record of Armagnac dates back to 1411. It is France’s oldest brandy. Three cultures were necessary to give us the Armagnac so many enjoy today: The Romans who brought vines to Gascony, the Moors who distilled the region’s wines, and the Celts who taught the Gascons how to use oak barrels to coax the brandy into its greatest expression. In order to be called Armagnac, the brandy must come from the Armagnac region and production is tightly regulated. The Sempe family dates back to the 14th century. Commercial production began in 1932. The Armagnac is made from white wines from carefully selected vineyards and distilled only once through a copper alembic to provide unique, robust flavors. The Armagnac is then stored in black oak casks until the Cellar Master deems it ready. Sempe is the #2 Armagnac in the world. Sempe VSOP is extraordinarily smooth and fragrant. The subtle aroma of plums, prunes, and violets combine in the mouth to form an exquisite taste known as the velvet flame. Armagnac is best served in a pear shaped glass with a round belly and tapered chimney or a champagne glass as opposed to a brandy snifter. Hold the glass at chest level and let the aroma waft up. Take a small sip to coat the mouth with its delicate flavors. As the glass and evening progress, your hand cupped on the glass will warm the Armagnac releasing new aromas and flavors.