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Martell’s New Extremely-Premium Cognac Was Aged in 300-12 months-Outdated Oak Barrels

Martell’s New Extremely-Premium Cognac Was Aged in 300-12 months-Outdated Oak Barrels

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Recent news regarding the Cognac category has not been great, with reports of a decline in sales from major brands like LVMH and Remy Cointreau. But that hasn’t stopped the release of new high-end bottles, as evidenced by a truly unique new expression from Maison Martell—a limited-edition blend that was aged in barrels made from 300-year-old oak inside a historic chateau.

The new L’Or de Jean Martell Reserve du Chateau de Chanteloup was unveiled this past December at an opulent dinner at the historic home of the Martell family, Chateau de Chanteloup, alongside Cognac cocktails and a multi-course tasting menu created by Michelin-starred chef Alexandre Mazzia. Each round of artfully prepared dishes was paired with a special Martell Cognac expression, all leading up to the big reveal—the new L’Or Reserve Cognac emerged from a secret compartment underneath the table accompanied by a string quartet playing dramatic flourishes of classical music. Christopher Nolan would have been proud.

Reserve du Chateau de Chanteloup was created by cellar master Christophe Valtaud, the ninth person to hold this title in Martell’s 300-year history. The blend is comprises more than 1,400 eau-de-vies from four crus of the Cognac region, and according to Valtaud each provides a specific flavor profile—Borderies for its floral notes, Grande Champagne for structure, Petite Champagne for softer flavors, and Fins Bois for its fruity character. The final blend was finished in special barrels made from three-century-old oak harvested from sustainably managed forests which was chosen for its uniquely fine grain. These casks were placed in the Château de Chanteloup for a final resting period, and presumably the temperature and humidity of that specific location had some impact on the interaction between spirit and wood.

Valtaud told Robb Report that he started working on this new blend about seven years ago, and wanted it to be different from previous L’Or releases. “I wasn’t just changing the blend, I was changing the mindset behind it,” he says. “It’s a limited edition that we will change each time, paying tribute to a different place.” This new expression, which is essentially a revamp of the L’Or line, will be followed by three releases in the coming years. Each will be aged in a different chateau and blended to capture a different element of the Martell Cognac character.

Valtaud won’t reveal the exact ages of the eau-de-vies in the blend, but says that they range from 10 to over 100 years old. The final blend spent at least one year in the lightly toasted 300-year-old oak barrels, and he likens the effect of the wood on the spirit to that of Japanese mizunara. “It really gives it something special on the palate,” he says. “It has a texture and flavor that’s very delicate, very floral. To create a good Cognac takes time.” We got to sample this new expression, and it’s both delicate and decadent. There are notes of sour cherry, chocolate-orange, blueberry compote, raspberry, and lemon curd on the palate, followed by flavors like espresso, apple cider, fig, raisin, and apricot.

Just 1,000 bottles of L’Or de Jean Martell Reserve du Chateau de Chanteloup will be available starting February 26 (SRP $7,500). The liquid comes in a Baccarat crystal decanter with 19-carat gold on the neck, each housed inside a handmade wooden cabinet. Check ReserveBar starting next week to secure your bottle, and you can find other Martell expressions, including previous L’Or releases, available for purchase now.

Source: Robb Report

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