Fanny Fougerat & Chateau Montifaud: Two houses who have chosen independence for their own Cognac, away from being merely suppliers to the big blend producers. A kind of Cognac Brexit.
- With four generations of experience as winemakers & distillers, Fanny decided to launch her own brand in 2013.
- From 30 hectares of land, she produces 6000 bottles p/a.
- She is [currently] only releasing either Fine Bois or Borderies single cask Cognac.
Fanny Fougerat XO [2017/18] Ob. Iris Poivree 40%
Apparently, Fanny distils ‘lees on’ for up to four times longer than is considered regular. This was distilled in 2011.
- N: Grape-y, Calvados-like and a few other distinct notes I couldn’t put my finger on at the time.
- T: Grain-like with fresh oak.
- F: Short, light and clean.
- C: Starting with an eventful [weird] nose, the rest performed more regulatory and like a single grain whisky in part. Though not incredibly enjoyable as a sipper, according one of the Fougerat ambassadors, this product is aimed at the [female] youth market for use as a mixer.
Scores 75 points
Fanny Fougerat VSOP [2017/18] Ob. Petite Cigue 40%
Off-lees, distilled in 2006.
- N: A detergent-y note, a light sake pong and a curious murky heart.
- T: Young, light and more recognisably Cognac-like to taste.
- F: Light spicy/fresh.
- C: More straight ahead than the Iris Poivree, though less eventful.
Scores 79 points
- Established in 1814, their 125 hectares estate currently extends to both Grande Champagne & Petite Champagne regions. The soil in their estate [and in the general region], has a very high limestone content. Montifaud state “This chalky content is a dominant factor in the quality of our eau de vie”.
- They, like Fanny Fougerat, ceased selling to the big producers and decided instead to go it alone. “The family looks after everything, from the vine stock all the way through the marketing and sales of their products”. [Both quotes are from Montifaud’s website LINK]. Selling internationally, their biggest market is currently Norway.
- With 125 hectares of land, they produce 500.000 bottles per annum of Fine Champagne – that’s a blend of Grande & Petite Champagne Cognac with less than half of the eau de vie coming from Grande Champagne.
- The lees usage dictates their VS or VSOP style. Heavy lees brings for a denser, longer aged spirit whereas light lees [as it suggests], brings a lighter more youthful spirit.
- Like all Cognac producers concerned about heavy oak flavours, their new oak casks are soaked with water & then emptied prior to usage, to remove the initially vibrant/aggressive resins & tannins.
- After maturation, their spirit is initially blended at 60%. Dropping in 29ml of water per hour, the Cognac is slowly reduced down to 55%, then 50%, then 45%, eventually arriving at 40% – this whole reduction process taking anything from 1-5 years.
- The final product is non-chill filtered.
Chateau Montifaud VS [2017/18] Ob. Fine Petite Champagne 40%
- C: A contender for the ‘Speysider of Cognac Award’, this is lightly sweet>>detergent-y.
Scores 77 points
Chateau Montifaud VSOP [2017/18] Ob. Fine Petite Champagne 40%
- C: Aged for 8 years+, this is super easy drinking Cognac – similar to the VS but richer, spongey-er.
Scores 79 points
Chateau Montifaud XO [2017/18] Ob. Fine Petite Champagne 40%
- N: Less detergent-y than the previous two.
- T: A fruity one with a soft sharpness. Easy to grasp, for now,…
- F: ,… is that barrel char I’m getting? There’s something burnt anyhow’s, some TCP perhaps, tails or even a little corkage?
- C: Simple on the one hand and curious on the other. Less convincing than the VSOP.
Scores 78 points
Chateau Montifaud Napoleon [2017/18] Ob. Fine Petite Champagne 40%
Aged for up to 18 years.
- N: That’s more like it. Carries more weight than the previous three….
- T: ,.. and brings more chew on the palate.
- F: Waxy-fresh with a long creamy-sweet conclusion.
- C: Apparently a 46% version exists also, so why not for the show?! Comparable form to whisky and the best of the lot.
Scores 80 points