French cognac: brand, extract, rating, reviews
Cognac is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, which appeared when mankind had just mastered the art of distillation of spirits. But the drink itself, with its endless playing sides of taste and the richest bouquet, was invented by the French. And it happened in the region of Aquitaine (which includes the famous wine city of Bordeaux), in the department of Charente, in the municipality of Cognac. For a long time it was there that they produced refined spirits, which, after assembling and aging in barrels, delighted the hearts and stomachs of gourmets. And it is still believed that only French cognac, made in the department of the same name, can claim this title. All other beverages, no matter how exact the manufacturers adhere to authentic technology, are called brandy. The French really appreciate their brandy. And even those who prefer to consume wine, rather than distillates, readily visit factories for the production of this drink.After all, it is very interesting to observe the process of cognac ripening, especially when the tour ends with a tasting. Near the town of Cognac there are about a thousand wine houses. Manufacturers of this elite aged drink are competing to achieve the highest quality product to attract a potential buyer. In this article, we will offer you a rating of French brandy to acquaint you with the most valued brands. Not the last role in its compilation was played by feedback from consumers and fans of this drink.
How was the rating
From the eighteenth century produced in the region of Charente brandy. Many wine houses have gone up in its manufacture and sale. And now more than two hundred and fifty different-sized concerns are engaged in its production. How to understand which is the best French cognac? You can take the criterion for sales. In this case, the market leader, not only French but also global, is Hennessy. The concern produces fifty million bottles a year. But since this brand is very popular, its products and fake most often.Because of the mere fake of the Hennessy bottle, there are about as many counterfeits in the world as the original product. The French are very respected manufacturer with an ancient history. Hennessee has been produced since 1745 - a solid long-lived enterprise, isn’t it? But preserved in Cognac and more ancient wine houses. The most ancient genus, which from generation to generation is engaged in the production of luxury drink, is Martel. And if we, when making the rating, put the price at the forefront? What is the most expensive French brandy? In this case, the list will be headed by "Henry IV", made by the descendants of this king. A bottle of drink went off for one million eight hundred seventy five thousand US dollars. In fairness it should be noted that half the cost falls on the container, which is a masterpiece of jewelry art. The bottle is made of high-grade gold, decorated with various precious stones, including six and a half thousand diamonds. Drink, before being poured into such a refined vessel, matured in barrels for a hundred years.
The French understand that good brandy cannot be cheap.But they also appreciate the traditions of the ancient winemakers. Therefore, choosing French cognacs, they prefer old-fashioned brands. So, the most ancient roots of the company "Martel". By the way, his Martell Creation Cognac In Handcarved Baccarat Decanter is ranked sixth in the top 10 most expensive cognacs in the world (seven thousand dollars). The founder of the wine house, John Martel, was not a Frenchman, but came from the island of Jersey. Having settled in Cognac at the beginning of the eighteenth century, he traded in all sorts of things. His star rose in 1726, when he married the daughter of the hereditary cognac master. The entrepreneurial spirit of Jean Martel and the experience of his father-in-law brought the distillery to a high level. At first, products were supplied only to the UK. When the French cognac "Martel" won the glory of an elite drink there, sales increased. The house was the leader in the global market until the mid-nineties of the last century, until it was overtaken by Hennessey. But now the company produces twenty-two million bottles a year, exporting brandy to one hundred fifty countries in the world. The grapes from the Borderie region inform the Martel drinks a nutty flavor.In the market, you can most often find VS, which corresponds to our three asterisks, VSOP and Noblige. Reviews especially enthusiastically describe the gastronomic characteristics of Martel Cordon Blue (one hundred dollars per bottle). This brand appeared in 1912. The Premium class in this house includes XO, Creation, Cohiba and L’Or de Jean Martel.
House "Remy Martin"
The concern, which grew out of a small family business, also boasts its nearly three hundred year history. In terms of sales, he overtook the "Martel" and is already breathing in the back of the head "Hennessy". Every year, the company produces twenty-four million bottles. Cognac is exported to one hundred sixty-five countries of the world. The company enjoys such prestige that the labels of the cheap segment do not even indicate the extract of French brandy. Glory to the house was served by vineyards located in the very center of the region, on the best soils with a high content of chalk. This is Big and Small Champagne. The wort from grapes grown on the Grand Cru Cruet soils can last much longer, which has a positive effect on the taste of the final drink.The house, named after its founder and known already since 1724, manufactures products of various price segments. Reviews are extremely praised Rémy Martin V.S.O.P. Alcohols for this brandy aged for at least four years. The noble drinks of impeccable quality are called consumers of the brand Rémy Martin Grand Crue, "Remy Martin XO Xtsellens", "XO Special" and "Extra". The term of exposure of the last drink is at least thirty-five years. In the TOP 10 of the most expensive brandy house holds the third position. This is the “Black Pearl of Louis XIII”, sold for fifty-one and a half thousand dollars.
This company, claiming that it produces the best French brandy, was created, however, by the Irish. Richard Hennessy left military service with King Louis XV. In 1765 he settled in the region of Charente. He engaged in the production of cognac and succeeded. Unlike the first two houses, the Hennessey is still run by the direct descendants of Richard. This surname was the first to come up with the idea of delivering cognac not in barrels, but in bottles, hoping (and in vain) that it would save products from counterfeits. And Maurice Hennessy had the idea to use asterisks to classify cognacs by age.The drink was admired by the French king Louis XVI, the emperor of all Russia Nicholas I and the British monarch George IV. Hennessy V.S.O.P. V.S. became the people's favorite. This "Hennessy" contains a blend of forty-odd cognac spirits. The bouquet of the drink is characterized by the fact that after the first woody notes shades of hazelnut appear. Velvety taste plays numerous nuances of vanilla and berries. Consumers praised the quality of Hennessey's more expensive cognacs: V.S.O.R., X.O., “Privat Reserve”, “Paradis”.
This house can not boast of any history, rooted in the distant past, nor the terroir, nor its own brewery production. Everything, both raw materials and wooden packaging, “Courvosier” buys from small distilleries in the Cognac region. Why did we place Courvoisier French cognac in fourth position? It is noteworthy that the history of the development of the company is closely connected with the imperial house Bonopartov. There is a beautiful legend that after the battle of Waterloo the captive Napoleon tried to flee to America on a ship carrying the Courvosier cognac. But, according to historical facts, the first batch of drinks appeared twenty years later after the deposition of the great commander.However, the company began to flourish under Napoleon III, becoming the official supplier of the imperial court. To please His Majesty, the house invented more and more new masterpieces of cognac art. And the efforts of winemakers were rewarded. Drinks, which exceeded the highest categories of cognacs in their qualities, were awarded the title Courvoisier Le Cognac de Napoleon. Later, the imperial name began to serve as a sort of classifier. French cognac "Napoleon", whatever house it belongs to, is of higher quality than VS, VSOP, and sometimes XO. Cases with the company “Courvoisier” under the patronage of the imperial court were going well. She bought the rights to such brands as "Comte Louis de Nave", "Grandier", "Royal Simbol", "Carvalho" and others. In the top 10 of the most expensive cognac products “Courvosier” - “L’Esprit Decanter” ranks tenth. As they say those who have tried this drink (four and a half thousand dollars per bottle), it has a powerful taste with a soft velvety aftertaste and delicate aroma of flowers, dried apricots and cinnamon.
Evaluating French cognacs (brands and producers), it is absolutely impossible to pass by this house. He is also one of the oldest in the department.The Gautier family received official permission to engage in the production of cognac from King Louis Fifteenth in 1755. But the distillery was known in the first half of the eighteenth century. Distillates of this house are unique. While other cognacs are usually kept in dry rooms, drinks from “Gauthier” ripen in barrels, which are stored in wet cellars on an island in the middle of the river. This brand is quite popular in France, but it also exports its products to more than seventy countries of the world. Along with VS ordinary spirits, the house also produces premium class cognacs. Reviews recommend to try "Fisherman's float", produced in a spherical bottle. Cognac VSOP is produced under the brand "Ship's steering wheel". Valuable class XO distillate is poured into an elite bottle of Gold and Blue. A lot of flavors are enclosed in a dark amber drink “Pinar del Rio”.
Cognac - French, and the creator - a native of Russia. Alexander Biscuit began his career in 1819. First, the cognacs of this house were supplied mainly abroad - to the USA, Germany and the UK. The Paris World Exhibition of 1889 was a turning point in the company's history. Becoming a triumphant brandy in the competition, "Biscuit" received worldwide recognition.At the end of the century, the house began to supply its drinks to the courtyard of Nicholas II. But cooperation with the Russian monarchs interrupted the October 1917 coup. Then the house reoriented its business to the British courtyard of George VI. Now the company's products have become more affordable to the average consumer. If you want to try the French cognac from "Biscuit", reviews recommend the brand Bisquit XO. This is a strict and timeless classic of the company. To create CW, 30-35-year-old spirits are used. Dark amber drink with glitter of mahogany color pleases gourmets with the taste of dried fruits and light floral shades. A rich bouquet of brandy is full of nuances. It reads sandalwood, saffron, almonds, walnuts, candied fruits, lime blossom, figs and honey.
Does French cognac Camus and existentialist writer Albert Camus connect something? Probably not. The writer's father only served as the caretaker of the wine cellars, but it was in Alsace, and not in Cognac. But the firm, founded in 1863 by Jean-Baptiste Camus, is still managed by the great-great-grandson of the creator. The quality of cognacs at home was also appreciated by the Soviet bonzes. Therefore, in 1959, the company acquired the exclusive right to supply its products for the “iron curtain” of the USSR. The house has not only vineyards with excellent terroir.He also established his own production of barrels. But the main attention is paid to the stage of aging brandy. This is followed by a specialist, called the cellar master. He is in charge of not only the temperature and humidity in the basement, but even the number of spiders - after all, they prevent tree logging from damaging the oak barrels. What Kamus brands should you pay attention to? Consumers praise the cheapest cognac at home - Camus VS. This is an assemblage of thirty spirits. Warm vanilla tones are heard in the taste of the drink, and the bouquet enchants with fruit and floral tones. VSOP from this house has a complex aroma of spices, oak wood and honey. Camus also has its own Napoleon brandy. In the bouquet of this premium drink, you can hear notes of dried fruit and cedar bark, and woody tones are felt in a long and dry aftertaste.
Other good French cognacs: company names
Fortunately, the list of trustworthy homes goes on. It would be unforgivable, for example, not to mention Delamen's “Pale and Dry XO”. The house was founded in 1759 - according to the French, this alone says about the unsurpassed qualities of the drink.By the classification of "Napoleon" belongs to the brand "Special Cigar" company "Chateau de Montifo." The raw materials for this drink are collected in the finest vineyards of Phy Petit Champagne. Another French brandy, belonging to the class of "Napoleons", is produced by the house "AE Dor." And if you are a fan of the great emperor and commander, then you can purchase a bottle in the form of Bonaparte’s bust from the Gode Brothers. This house was founded in the early nineteenth century by immigrants from Holland. Not less attention than the curly packaging, is given to brandy spirits, so that the drink "Napoleon" has an unsurpassed taste and aroma. In France, the products of the “Hardy”, “Shabass”, “Croiset”, “Denis Charpentier”, “Edgar Leira”, “Frapin” and “Gaston de Lagrange” houses enjoy unchanged popularity.
Cognac "French Standard"
Manufacturers of other countries tirelessly work on the quality of brandy in order to bring its quality closer to French. But Russian manufacturers went the other way. Do they buy brandy spirits from the four most elite regions of France? Gran and Petit Champagne, Le Borderie and Le Fin Bois. In the creation of the drink involved grape varieties Union Blanc, Colombar and Fol Blanche.After five years of aging, Russian cognac “French Standard” is born. Reviews note the rounded, velvety and deep taste of the drink, its sophisticated and rich bouquet of hues. And the price is more than available to the average buyer - five hundred and sixty rubles for 0.5 liters.