Staying on the same table as Drouet, we’ve another hat trick, this time from Guillon-Painturand.
WF says: ‘Right in the heart of the Champagne region, near Epernay, Guillon distil some locally grown barley in some little water bath stills, which should be good news‘.
‘The Cognac house of Guillon-Painturaud has a history that can be traced back to the early seventeenth century, and covers 18 hectares of prime Premier Cru terrain. A traditionally run, artisan producer, the house produces a range of cognacs that are both affordable and will appeal to all levels of cognac drinker. They grow solely the Ugni Blanc grape, which they use to create their Cognacs and Pineau des Charentes. All of the process of Cognac production is carried out at the family farm, from the tending of the land and growing the fruits, through the distillation, aging, blending and bottling’.
- Further reading: https://www.cognac-guillon-painturaud.com
Guillon-Painturaud Vieille Reserve  Ob. Grande Champagne 40%
An unstated single vintage aged 20 years+
- N: The same age as Drouet’s XO [WLP] apparently, but completely different with initial notes of toasted peanut oil & rubber-yet-not-rubber – yet these notes largely lift & shift. What remains is a character that firmly speaks of the cellar and < oak – a result of drier maturation conditions says Ed.
- T: This is refreshingly different from cognac from the big houses. Craft for sure, a Springbank of cognac perhaps, not least because I find Mark Watt standing beside me. Oozes more with water.
- F: With a desirable murkiness, the finish is true to the grapes. Despite the cask influence early on, it’s clearly distillate & grape driven by the end.
- C: Excellent juice, looking even more fabulous at around £70. Easily the best BFYB of the show.
Scores 89 points
Guillon-Painturaud Hors d’Age  Ob. Grande Champagne 40%
Aged 30 years+
- N: Richer than the Vieille Reserve with aromatic curry spices amongst other delights.
- T: Arrives with more fragility than the Vieille Reserve, but no less colourful.
- F: A liquorice and black & redcurrant-fresh finish, all very light/polite – some may say elegant.
- C: Very decent indeed.
Scores 87 points
Guillon-Painturaud Renaissance  Ob. Grande Champagne 40%
Aged +/- 40 years.
- N: Subtle yet dazzling cake fillings, lime cream vanilla and dried liquid-y fruits.
- T:&F Possesses that special dryness that only age brings. Needs to be held in the mouth to sustain the finish.
- C: Fab cognac, though at €250, the Vieille Reserve firmly remains victorious.
Scores 88 points
With thanks to Ed