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Our Louis XIII experience in Cognac

27 May 2012 5 Comments

The last couple of days we were invited by Louis XIII Cognac for a Louis XIII experience in Cannes and Cognac.  This post is all about our Louis XIII experiences in the Cognac region, our favorite place…

We even tasted some Louis XIII Cognac straight from the barrel, very exciting experience!

 

At Thursday eve (May 24, 2012) we arrived at the Heritage Hotel in Cognac, the atmosphere of the hotel is very cozy and combines different styles from a mixture of sensations from different periods, and different places. After checking-in we went to Restaurant Bistro de Claude, one of the best restaurants in the Cognac-region. As a starter I chose for the Tuna with poppy-seeds, scallops with lemon risotto was the main course. Delicious restaurant, I can recommend very much!

Friday (May 25, 2012): After a good sleep we went to the holy grounds of the Louis XIII Cognac, the Grande Champagne region with Louis XIII Brand Ambassador Patrick Mariuz!

Every time I see the soil of the Grande Champagne (1st Cru of the Cognac region), I am amazed about the limestone grounds, this is good because the limestone act like a sponge absorbing extra rain water and releasing the moisture slowly over time.

The Grande Champagne is situated exactly at the point of equilibrium between the four climatic influences, and therefore enjoys the mildest, most balanced climate of the Charente on the chalkiest soil, and the brandies it yielded were recognized as the greatest and most precious produced in the entire region as early as the beginning of the 18th. century.

On the Grande Champagne vineyards in Segonzac  it was great to see the first stages of the flowering of the grape vines.

After visiting the vineyards we went to the Le Domaine Rémy Martin in Merpins (Avenue de Gimeux – 16100 Merpins, 4km from Cognac)

Who expects a romantic wine cellar, would be disappointed. The storage of Remy Martin looks more like a factory site – the chais are dark gray, oblong sheds that are arranged in parallel. But once you go inside you realize that no machines, but tradition and craft here predominate.

 

The thousands of oak barrels contain handwritten codes in white chalk: a secret code that relates to the taste, the alcohol percentage and the number of hectoliters in that specific row barrels. The longer the barrels are to ripen the darker the color of both the barrels and the Cognac.

These secret codes and blends are established by perhaps the most important person of a cognac house: Le Maître de chai (The Cellar Master).

 

 

We went inside two chais, one filled with new eaux-de-vie and one filled with Louis XIII in progress. The Louis XIII cellar is filled with Tiercon-barrels (not shown on this photo), this unique type of barrel is only used for the ageing of Louis XIII. This type of barrel is no longer produced; it has thinner walls and was historically used for boat transportation. Tiercons are now only used for Louis XIII and, luckily for the brand, Remy Martin owns the largest collection of the Tiercons which are 100 – 150 years old.

The good thing about tiercons is the fact that they don’t have any wood-influences anymore on the Cognac, compared to younger barrels used for aging Cognac.

 

After sniffing all wonderful impressions and aroma’s in these cellars we headed back to Cognac to see the Futur Heritage Exposition #1 (From March 13thto June 30th, 2012) at MAISON REMY MARTIN.

After this Exposition we had a great lunch at Le Club Rémy Martin, prepared by Philippe Saint-Romas, Head Chef of the House of Rémy Martin.

In the afternoon we went to beautiful ancient Grollet estate at St Même les Carrières, the estate of the Hériard Dubreuil family (owners of Rémy Cointreau). Until a few years ago Rémy Martin distilled Cognac at this place, nowadays this estate is mainly used for inviting very special guest and for maturing Louis XIII Cognac. On the vast vineyards around the Grollet estate not only Ugni-Blanc grapes for Cognac-making are planted. Rémy Martin also planted 40 hectares of merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes for winemaking, a fact I didn’t know…

The cellars of the Grollet estate are all being used for maturing Louis XIII Cognac, we only saw tiercons filled with Louis XIII cognac! After a tour through the vineyards, the old distillery and the chai we meet Baptiste Loiseau, the Deputy Cellar Master of Rémy Martin. It was a honor to meet someone knowing so much about the wine and Cognac making process.

After a tour through the private cellars there was a suprise for us, Baptiste poured some Louis XIII Cognac in progress (according to Baptiste it only needed 2 years more of aging and marrying between the blends). This was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had with Cognac.

 

Thanks to Rémy Martin and Louis XIII for this wonderful experience!

I also want to thank Emmanuel and Andrea from SAME SAME agency, Manon and Emma from Maison Rémy Martin, Patrick Mariuz (Louis XIII Brand Manager), Baptiste Loiseau  and the other bloggers for the great time!

Other bloggers who attended this Louis XIII experience:

Please check out the photo’s we took during this Louis XIII experience:

 

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