From Champagne, France
Tasting note: The colour deepens to a brassy, copper colour with a pale copper hue. Initial nosing reveals a top note reminiscent of vanilla slice, hovering over powerful, heavier scents of dried apricots, dried figs, prunes, creme-caramel and new leather. A sensuous, complex sniff. The supple, glycerous entry slowly unfolds concentrated flavours of ripe stone fruits, dried figs and almond cake followed by a spicy vanilla back palate. Exceptionally pure, very gently warming spirit. Impeccable balance. The aftertaste lingers with terrific persistence, drying with flavours of dried banana, creme caramel and cedary oak. We recommend letting it breathe in the glass over 10-20 minutes for maximum pleasure
A little history...
A wonderful discovery, the Cognacs of Jean-Luc Pasquet are equally a welcome relief in a market dominated by mass-marketed brands, many of which seem to be suffering from a lack of freshness, excitement and value for money.
Jean Luc began working alongside his uncle Albert in 1971 on an estate from the Grande Champagne sub-region that had been in the family since 1730. Located south of the city of Cognac, between the rivers La Charente and Le Ne, covering 13000 Ha, the soils here are made of a thin top layer of limestone with a high calcareous content and Montmorillonite clays, resting on a base of porous chalk from the Cretaceous (campanien sub-period), acting as a buffer for water supply to the vineyards. Such edaphic parameters contribute to fruit quality by avoiding vine stress in warm weather, and at the same time, allowing excellent drainage in case of excessive rains. Thus Grande Champagne holds the potential for optimum flavour profiles to develop in the grapes (which usually fall within the floral spectrum) making it Cognac's most prized terroir; Its vines yielding the subtlest, most fragrant Cognacs, and the ones that need the greatest maturation.
Assuming full ownership in 1973, Jean-Luc has continued the enterprise, now selling Cognac under his own name, ranging from 4 year old to 80 year old expressions from the inherited stocks, including the now extremely rare “Oncle Albert-Tres Vieux Cognac”. Jean-Luc’s drive to express the most pure and distinctive expressions from Grande Champagne terroir led to the conversion of the estate to organic viticulture, winning certification in 1998. Today the vineyard consists of single 7.5 Ha plot, majority planted with Ugni Blanc (76%), Montils (8%) and Folle Blanche (16%), the latter reintroduced in recognition of its ability to produce eaux de vie of great finesse. Traditional 100% hand-harvest is the norm, in line with viticultural and cellar practices. Sulphur is nowhere to be seen on this estate and with the youngest component of XO's required to be only 6 years old, Pasquet's pushes an average of 25. If you are a brandy enthusiast, note - the below is not a normal price. This is superb Cognac at an extraordinary price, in fact around $50 cheaper than most other XOs that we’re aware of on the market with no compromise on quality whatsoever.