I’m only a few months behind! It’s year #2 and another cracking show. I start in exactly the same place I did last year and with the same Cognac [WLP].
- C: £50 worth of deliciousness, a fine Cognac to have as a staple. Apparently, the VSOP accounts for 90% of Frapin’s Cognac sales, so it’s a highly valued expression.
Scores 84 points [again]
Frapin Cigar Blend  Ob. Grande Champagne 40% [WF]75
A name that follows in the footsteps of Dalmore’s marketing team perhaps? This is actually old enough to be called an XO, but XO in reality refers to a style rather than an age statement.
- N&T: A buttery nose that continues on the palate, and more peppery [as it turns out], than all of the Frapin’s I tried today. Overall, it’s tasty juice without a huge amount of action or information.
- F: Comforting light sweetness and freshness.
- C: Comforting is the word, though I much prefer the VSOP for half the money.
Scores 80 points
Frapin 1990 27yo Ob. Millesime Grande Champagne 41.3%
Cognac vintages are less common than with whisky. Frapin brought a number of them to last year’s show. This was the only new vintage since then.
- N: Bakewell tart fans can’t go wrong here.
- T: The woodiness is more apparent compared to the VSOP, but despite the low abv, there are no strength/weakness issues.
- F: Sweet fresh.
- C: I kind of prefer the simpler more rounded VSOP in this instance, but I fancy there’s a lot more to this one if time had allowed.
[Provisionally] scores 85 points
Frapin Extra  Ob. Grande Champagne 40% WLP87
- N: Richer and more integrated compared to the 1990 vintage.
- T: Rich, well integrated and delicious.
- F: It runs & runs.
- C: Richer & £360 more than the 1990 vintage, though it does come with an astoundingly heavy stopper. Gains a point more from me than last year.
Scores 88 points
Frapin Plume  Ob. Grande Champagne [500 bts] 40%
Composed from around 20 different barrels [what the Cognac industry refer to as individual eau de vie], the youngest eau de vie coming in at a mere 60 years of age. A single bottle currently stands at around £2675.
- N: Not a huge deal at first but wait for it to become fatty rich whilst gradually revealing subtle ye olde curiosities – ideal for treasure hunters.
- T: Again, there’s not much initially and yet the mouthfeel is not quite like anything I’ve had before. Blossoms gradually.
- F: Super long finish, one you could take home on the tube or to work in my case. Grows & grows ultra-subtlety, dark grape essence personified.
- C: This one’s a waiting game, just don’t add much water, if any. The nose and finish is where this one’s at, and the growing emerging mouthfeel.
Scores 91 points
With thanks once again to Rebecca and David.