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La Fontaine de la Pouyade – Grande Champagne Cognac

15 April 2012 5 Comments

La Fontaine de la Pouyade is one of the most exclusive and desirable Cognacs in the world, only a limited number of bottles are available worldwide.

This rare and exciting cognac, produced by the house Bouyer-Dubosquet is aged for more than 80 years! The German gourmet magazine (“Der Feinschmecker”) once organized a blind tasting (only experts and sommeliers took part) with high end cognac like Hennessy Richard and Rémy Martin Louis XIII and this cognac was the best!

Also French President Sarkozy gave this Cognac as exclusive gift to the President of Poland…

The bottle traditional wax seal and XVIIth century style hand-blown bottle with a 24 carats gilded label is very characteristic, beautiful!

For Cognac Experts and lovers this Cognac is truly exceptional because the use of Grande Champagne in combination with Folle Blanche (large part), Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes. This grape is nowadays extremely rare (less than 5% of the total vines in the Cognac Region), especially in combination with the Grande Champagne region.

This La Fontaine de la Pouyade Cognac compared to the Louis XIII is fuller and much more aromatic. Also the aroma’s are better to recognize… This difference is most easy to explain because the use of  many Folle Blanche grapes for the main part of the blend, the Louis XIII uses Ugni Blanc for the main part…. Also the aging is very different,  the La Fontaine de la Pouyade Cognac is aged for about 80 years, the Cognacs used by Rémy Martin for their Louis XIII are aged for about 40 (main part) till  100 years (some drops).

The La Fontaine de la Pouyade (€910,-) is about €350,- cheaper than the Louis XIII with is priced for at least €1.250,-, so you get better and older quality for less costs, how’s that? Only because of the marketing costs of Rémy Martin and the use of expensive Baccarat for their caraffe.

This Cognac is available in 4 varieties:

  • La Fontaine de La Pouyade miniature of 5cl. (reviewed in this article)
  • La Fontaine de La Pouyade in bottles 70cls (handblown)
  • La Fontaine de La Pouyade in bottles 70cls (handblown) in a individual box
  • La Fontaine de La Pouyade in Baccarat Decanter 70cls in a individual box

The review notes of the La Fontaine de la Pouyade Cognac are:

The color: dark mahony.
The nose: orange/lemon-zest, vanilla, oak, cedar wood, velpon, black tea, and rancio. Very exceptional aroma’s!
The taste: very complex, balanced and rich of aroma’s with beautiful wood  aroma’s.
The after-taste: exceptional lenght, even compared to an Cognac like the Louis XIII or Richard Hennessy.
The origin: Grande Champagne with Folle Blanche, Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes.
The age: 80 years.
The price: about €910,-
Price / quality ratio: an 9+ out of 10. Probably one of the best Cognacs available….

Website: Premiers Grand Crus

Feinschmecker article, a little outdated but the conclusion is still very up-to-date…

 

Extravagance is today very fashionable again. The one who has a lot of money and
who does not know what to offer may rapidly buy a Champagne silver basket from the
Maybach de Robbe & Berking collection at the price of € 3 750 (please refer our 2002
December edition) or the magnificent steel breadknife inlayed with precious metals from
Gûde at Soligen (please refer 2002 October edition) at the price of € 3 000. The Federal
Government savings-calls are without any effect to this new lux appetite. We are told that
the first 2000 Maybach cars from Daimler Chrysler are already sold at a minimum price of
€ 330 000.

This clientele does not need to take into account one Euro twice but shares the simple
tastes of Oscar Wilde for the Best. This clientele is also targeting the Cognac production
companies for their high class products : Remy Martin and Hennessy for their special
decanters at more than € 1 000, mainly sold to the richest gourmets in the Far East. Pierre-
Antoine Thoennissen, the exclusive distributor of La Fontaine de La Pouyade Grande
Champagne Cognac Premier Cru is thinking, amongst the brands above €1 000, straight
to the Maybach buyers as an opportunity of distribution. They would probably be glad to
receive a bottle of La Pouyade as a gift when they buy their cars. Thoennissen is going to
negotiate very soon in this respect.

What is the expectation of the connoisseur of these so expensive products ?
Are the most expensive the best ? Or do the buyers succumb to a very clever marketing
policy of image and do they pay more expensive for the luxury packaging than for the
contents ? Regarding the Richard of Hennessy, it is packed in a one kilo leather suitcase
and Louis XIII of Remy Martin is a rococo style decanter.

To know the reply, we have invited a Jury of experts for an exclusive blind tasting to the
Havana Lounge of Hamburg. Each brand had to be tested exactly, without the brad name,
or the price. The jury tested nine brands ranked from € 150 to 1 200 per bottle. We secretly
insert a brandy whose name is Carlos I de Pedro Domeq, sold at € 17 in supermarket.
The Jury had to judge each cognac and to estimate its price. It was a surprising tasting with
suspense.

Let us have the first results : we had three good news :

First, the jury was competent. The judges did rapidly recognise the brand at € 17 as a
spanish brandy. Most of the tasters would have paid more than € 100 for it. Carlos I is an
accomplished brandy and a secret trump compared to the price.

Secondly, the cognacs buyers at more than € 1 000 were not mislead because the lux
bottles were all ranked at the first 5 top places.

Thirdly, we found a cognac with a very attractive price which could compete with the high
priced brands.

Why are those premium price bottles so expensive ? The most expensive are coming
exclusively from the best grounds (cru or growth) situated in the Cognac Grande
Champagne area (appellation controlée) exclusively. The eaux-de-vie coming exclusively
of this unique cru of 12 500 hectares, situated to the south east of Cognac, have legally
the right to be called “Grande Champagne Cognac Premier Cru”. Only 18% of the cognacs
sold worldwide are coming from the vineyards of this small limited area ( mostly planted
with Ugni Blanc, rarely with Folle Blanche or Colombard).

The Grande Champagne Eaux-de-Vie , obtained by distillation, will age in oak-barrels

during several years and this process transfoms the just distilled strong eaux-de-vie into
round, smooth and elegant cognacs. The three bottles at the price of € 1 000 are of a very
respectable age : Louis XIII from Remy Martin is composed of cognacs over 100 years old,
Richard of Hennessy of 120 years old and La Fontaine de La Pouyade of 130 years old !!

The blind test reveals a gap without any doubt between the good and expensive
cognacs.Evenmore the bottles of 35 years old of Lhéraud and of Leopold Gourmel ,
distilled from grapes harvested in the “Petite Champagne” (2nd growth or cru) did not charm
the Jury as they both short of bouquet with bitter, metallic and not enough ripe tastes.It is a
pity regarding the price of € 200 for both ! The “ Tres Venerable » from Delamain (€ 180)
which, although superb fruits aromas, was not better and did not succeed to provide the
harmony and the finish of the over 100 years old cognacs.

Very brilliant winner is « La Fontaine de La Pouyade » Cognac. This Premier Cru of
Cognac, just known by the top professionnals, did please the Jury very much : fireworks of
herbs aromas : tea, cedar wood, flowers, oranges, very elegant. The La Pouyade Cognac
is really wothwile of € 1 000. In fact the Jury did suppose with rightness that it was the most
expensive bottle.

The most renown lux cognacs such as Louis XIII, Richard Hennessy and the Family
Reserve of Hine were successfully in line with their high reputation. The surprise was
Extra from Otard at the very attractive price of € 140, a blending of Grande and Petite
Champagne and this cognac was classified by the Jury at the third place. It is a cognac
which convinced the Jury because of its lemon and plum aromas with smocked vanilla
perfumes. The Extra is also concentrated, full with the finish of a very old cognac. The jury
would have priced five times more expensive.

In conclusion, it is always very interesting, before plunging in its purse, to test all the
alternatives. However, for those who are definitively lux minded, we advise them to make a
comparative test of their five favorits. Summing the price in a retail shop : € 3 800 nearly !
The enthusiasts should receive a rebate !!

Five Winners :
(price for one 70cls bottle)

1/ La Fontaine de La Pouyade (40 %)

Results : First cru of the Cognac region of 130 old cognacs, distilled from the Folle Blanche
vine plant (Extremely rare nowadays)
Aromas : flowers aromatic herbs, fruits of lemon tree, black tea and vanilla.
Tasting : surprising long finish, round and sweet, with perfectly bound acids, very long in
mouth. For the time being one of the best Cognac in the world.

2/ Remy Martin Louis XIII (40 %)

Results : caramel, butter, with notes of grapefruit and plum at the top. Round and sweet to
the palate, slightly salted. An over 100 years old cognac with a long finish in mouth. The
great Dame.

3/ Otard Extra (40 %)

Results : An average 50 years old Cognac distilled from wines coming from the
Grande and the Petite Champagne. With orange, plum and lemon bouquet to which
are added wood, caramel and smocke notes. Very sweet and harmonious but a
bit short in mouth. Our advise : an elegant Cognac of high value coupled with a
surprising price.

4/ Hine Family Réserve (42 %)

Results : this Grande Champagne Cognac is convincing for its fine aromas of
aromatic herbs, camomile, peaches, apples with decent woody notes. Very complex
but a bit strong and acid. The tasters did estimate it at a higher price.

5/ Richard Hennessy (40 %)

Results : A very traditional Grande Champagne Cognac, partly distilled with Folle
Blanche with an average 120 years old cognacs. With a very woody bouquet and
fruits of lemon and lichi trees. Above: vanilla and iodine. A very masculine Cognac
which appeared too acid to the members of the Jury. It is a privileged partner for the
Cigar smockers because of its strength of character.


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What do you think about this Cognac?
Rating: 8.8/10 (20 votes cast)
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5 Comments »

  • Guiseppe L. said:

    Wow great review and Cognac! Would love to taste it one day….

  • David said:

    C’est le vrais grand Cognac.

  • Visiting La Fontaine de la Pouyade said:

    […] few weeks ago we visited the makers of La Fontaine de La Pouyade, probably one of the best Cognacs in the world. We were invited to have a lunch and a comparable […]

  • Peter said:

    I have an old bottle to sell with the 24 carat gold label any ideas on price ????

  • Tesseron Lot 29 – Cognac Review said:

    […] The color: brown-gold. The nose: very attractive old Grande Champagne nose, delicious! With scents of honey, oak, nuts and citrus. The taste: full of (matured Grande Champagne) flavors, as if a bomb explodes in your mouth, yet this Cognac is not sharp, but certainly not too soft. The flavors: oak, dried fruit, coffee, cocoa, caramel, leather and some flowers. In short, this cognac tastes great! The after-taste: very long, lasts an hour! The origin: 100% Grande Champagne. The age: aged around 70 years. The price: 350 euros. This seems (and is) a lot of money for a Cognac, yet this is an outright price cracker. Brands like Hennessy, Martell and Rémy Martin sells anything like this for at leasts twice the money… Price / quality ratio: a 9 +. Delicious Cognac which is in the upper segment very competitively priced. Delicious taste! Very good competitor for the highly rewarded Louis XIII and La Fontaine de la Pouyade. […]

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