Cognac tends to be typified as something taken neat or on the rocks, something that doesn’t play well with other flavors- and therefore only taken as an endnote to a meal.
What if we told you that this kind of thinking is very wrong indeed?
Here’s the thing: distinguished and refined does not automatically mean singularity and puritanical. Cognac is an exceptional spirit, known for its elegant, balanced, and refined taste. It has long been the liquor of choice of those with discerning palates.
However, outside of those who are passionate about it, little about cognac is common knowledge.
All cognac begins life as grapes, which will eventually become brandy. Not all brandy can be made into cognac, however. It must be a specific type of brandy produced exclusively in the region of Cognac in Western France, aged for at least two years in French oak barrels, and have an alcohol content of 40 percent.
Martell is one of the oldest and most established cognac houses in France, having been producing premium cognacs since 1715. Founded by Jean Martell, the brand became renowned for its superior cognac in the 20th century and patronized by royals such King George V, Prince Rainer and Grace Kelly. Today, Martell’s incomparable line of cognacs and spirits continue to capture the hearts and palates of those who prefer fine drinks.
Martell cognacs contain fine brandies dubbed eaux-de-vie, literally translating into “waters of life”. Over the course of three centuries of utter dedication to perfecting the process, Martell has developed its own unique distillation method of these clear wines; a trade secret kept closely guarded and is at the heart of creating their cognac.
This elegant eaux-de-vie originated from the Borderies, the most exclusive terroir in the region. These are aged in fine-grain oak barrels, and during the ageing process, these elegant liquors develop a wonderful aromatic harmony, tinged with candied fruit and sweet spicy notes, Martell’s distinct signature style.
Nathaniel C. Uy