Cognac-expert says: ‘With over 500 years of history, the artisan house of Vallein Tercinier is one that deserves the attention of all Cognac lovers – from those new to eaux-de-vie to the connoisseur. This brother and sister team bring an expertise to craft Cognac that’s just aching to be discovered‘.
- Further reading: cognac-tercinier.com
I’ve had only one contact with Vallein Tercinier before this show, and it [Lot 65] was a cracker. High hopes for today’s visit, and where better a place to start than with their XO.
Vallein Tercinier XO  Ob. Vieille Reserve 40% [WF]88
A blend of grande & petite champagne cognacs with a minimum age of 30 years.
- C: More bitter than the previous [Drouet] XO. This is one you’ll find yourself chewing on.
Scores 84 points
Vallein Tercinier 46° Small Batch  Ob. 46% WF90
WN says: ‘Their master blender married two batches of old cognac from the Bons Bois and Fins Bois zones (one 15 years old, the other 25 years).
- C: You realise how varied cognac really is when you get past the big four houses. With body and freshness, this to me is a hybrid between cognac & whisky, and indeed it has been coined as “one for the whisky lovers”. Remit nailed! Great price too, given the ages involved.
Scores 85 points
Vallein Tercinier Lot 89  Ob. Fins Bois 48.5% WF90
- N: Ginger cake, thick rich treacle tart, Jaffa Cakes and a lot more besides.
- T: Oh yes,…. and with a buttery mouthfeel, this is balance personified.
- F: Distillate-driven waxy juicy finish.
- C: Apparently this is a good example of cognac from the Fins Bois region. Scores highly, not for any crazy complexity but because it’s faultless in its class. Around £115.
Scores 90 points
Part of Vallein’s ‘Rare Single Cask Collection‘, the name is in part, a nod to Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsborough’s 69 Année Erotique.
- C: This one has a dunnage/fungal quality reminiscent of an old Speysider. A spot-on malty-esque-sweet palate with a particular [yet not dominant] note of minted peas on the side. I find it a tad more woody/thick than the Lot 89, so of course I like it. £245 seems reasonable, given the lot/vintage & calibre.
Scores 88 points
Vallein Tercinier Hors D’Age  Ob. Reserve de la Maison [btl #011197] 42% WF89
This beautiful looking bottle contains solera-blended cognac at 40-70 years of age.
- N: Rich cognac-soaked bloomer bread is all I wrote, my lack of note taking being a good indication of things in this case.
- T: Well consolidated and lusciously dry. Also eggy – in a good way – as in eggy sponge [not that I’ve ever liked eggs]. Hold in mouth for fruits, many balanced fruits, oh and it’s as smooth as glass. There, I said it, ‘smooth’.
- F: Long waxy finish with some bone-dry herbal action and a touch of spice at the end.
- C: Really delivers, and on price too [£130].
Scores 89 points
Vallein goes firmly to the top of the class, easily on par with Frapin. And now for something rather different and unexpected to finish. Tasted blind, two aperitifs as digestifs!
Salmon pink in colour likened to port-matured whisky.
- C: What mad stuff is this – wine, sherry, port? I’m told it’s fortified wine from Cognac. Given its lightness in comparison to cognac, this sweeter style of juice could effortlessly compliment a fine meal, exactly what commonly occurs in restaurants in the area I’m told. Like a French sake perhaps, around £34.
Vallein Tercinier 1997 [+/-2017] Reste Des Anges Ob. Vieux Pineau Des Charentes 16.2% [75cl]
- C: Coming in at around £40, I could get stuck into a bottle or two of this with ease. More white wine vibes here than the Charentes Rouge that was more of a rosé if you will. Refreshingly tasty light-sweet juice.