Brandy. The word has its origins in the Dutch meaning “brandewijn” which means burnt wine, or in this case ‘distilled wine’. Cognac, is in its simplest description, a French brandy. One that has been produced in France since the early 16th century initially as a way to transport wine without it souring.
Fast forward to 2019 and Cognac is still one of the most unchanged industries of distillation in the world. Old-worldly production techniques, family-run distilleries, and ancient old-growth vineyards grace the Grande Champagne region where distillery C5 sits. Of the six main Cognac regions in France, the rather tiny Grande Champagne region is generally accepted as the premium Cognac-producing regions. Amazing really given the size: it’s about one tenth the size of Hobart…
That’s where our new Cask 5.3 ‘Blood orange sorbet’ comes in, being released this Friday 1st March 2019. It hails from the Grande Champagne region, it’s a single cask (which is basically hens teeth in the Cognac world where everything is blended), and it’s in the XO age range. While we can’t legally list the age statement beyond the classification system employed in Cognac, there’s two clues here: it’s already as low as 42.7% natural cask strength. The angel’s share of spirit evaporation in France is not too dissimilar to Scotland’s at around 2.4-2.8% per/year. The other indicator of age here is the knowledge I can pass on to you that most of their older spirit that gets vatted for their seasonal and rare releases at a similar proof and with XO (extra old) classification, is in the vicinity of 70 to 90 years of age. Read that again. 70 to 90 years in Limosin French Oak barrels. Truly a remarkable piece of history.
With strong ties to the Scandinavian country of Norway, the history of Cognac Tiffon dates back to 1875. Tiffon is to this day a family run business, and is based at the beautiful family home, the Chateau de Triac, just 5 kms from the town of Jarnac. The Chateau itself has a battle-scarred and convoluted history, dating back to the 11th century, which includes being razed to the ground by fires and completely demolished during the Hundred Years’ War. Today, the family grows 40 hectares of Grande Champagne and Fins Bois vines, overseen by cellar master Richard Braastad, who comes from an old cognac producers’ family.
With only 12 x bottles available in Australia, this might just be your only chance to taste something as old and remarkable as C5.3 presents, in single cask form as the Society does best. The full March Outturn goes on sale at midday Friday 1st March, only on www.smws.com.au. Not a member? Access your full benefits to the Society and join today.