The recent Cognac reviews by Vinous.com’s Jason Wilson really intrigued me. I had written a blogpost about what we determined to be the best value in the report. Today I’m back with the highest scoring Cognac in the article!
What I really enjoyed about it was the fact that the prices didn’t correspond with the scores. If you sort by score you see one Cognac at the top of the article (yes that’s what I am writing about) as you scroll down you see much higher prices with lower scores, this isn’t just a pat on the back for the big houses with the big prices.
Here are the facts:
1. No Cognac was scored 100 points
2. One Cognac was scored 99 points- Jacky Navarre Vieille Reserve
3. 35-50 years aged
4. True artisan production
This isn’t something we have sold before, so I’ve never tasted it, but the review is so powerfully compelling that I researched the importer and identified that it is available to us, so we grabbed 12 bottles. They arrived this morning, just in time for the cooler evenings ahead. – Michael Quinlan
“I’d been told Jacky Navarre was “one of the last of the purists,” but when I met the man and saw the bed he set up next to his wood-fired still (built with bricks dating to the 19th century), the point was driven home. With 11 hectares in Grande Champagne — some of which is dedicated to red grapes for making long-aged Pineau des Charentes — Navarre lets nature do most of the work. In the cellar, he waits for three to five decades as his brandies come down to bottling proof. Said Navarre, “Instead of trying to recreate what the consumer wants, I make what I want and like, and I hope the customer will like it, too.” One of the prized expressions in Grande Champagne — indeed, in all of Cognac. Aged 35 to 50 years, yet light amber in color. The incredibly complex nose is at first warm and affable, presenting pretty dried flowers, rose petals and roasted walnuts, but as you return to the glass, the aromas open up with a tropical explosion of pineapple, mango and guava. Wows the palate with so much going on at once, both profound and hedonistic. Lots of fiery spice and pepper at first, which is then balanced and rounded out by more opulent tropical fruit, some forest floor notes and a unique chalky finish. Consider how many thousands of dollars the blingy bottlings from the big houses fetch, and you’ll see what an incredible value this is — if you can find it. 99 points.” Jason Wilson, Vinous.com