Time is ticking. There are only minutes left on the second & last day of the 2019 Cognac Show and everyone from staff & security to exhibitors & punters has become noticeably fidgety. I serendipitously approach the Voyer & Vaudon stand and catch Phil’s eye. Aware of the time constraints, Phil promptly offers me grande champagne eaux de vie to compare against fin bois spirit to demonstrate the regional differences of terroir – amazing! He even has heads & tails too, right up geek street. Next year I’ll come to him first. With time crucially running low, we advance to GO.
Francois Voyer XO  Ob. Grande Champagne 40% WF87
- C: “A masterclass in XO blending”, says phil. He’s not wrong. Like many other cognac houses, every 6-12 months Voyer dilute/reduce their ageing cognacs by up to 5% with distilled water – a method that smaller distilleries in whisky industry might want to consider for improved marrying results. After the Vallein Tercinier [WLP84] & Drouet [WLP80], this is my favourite XO of the festival.
Scores 88 points
Vaudon Barriques 1978 & 1980/2019 Ob. Fins Bois 48%
- C: With severe time constraints, all I write is ‘even better & richer than the XO’.
Scores 89 points
Francois Voyer Celebrating 40 years of Amathus  Ob. Grande Champagne [457 bts] 42%
As the last chance saloon, Phil whips out another bottle from behind the curtain, so to speak.
- N: We start with a bready note, in a good way – nothing wrong with a white bloomer at the best of times. No other notes unfortunately but there was lots here.
- T: Oh, this is rather excellent with touches of elderflower, varied citrus, mandarin,… and a shopping list of other delights.
- F: Just lovely.
- C: I’m tempted to buy a bottle but it’s the rather unique Bache Gabrielsen 1971 vintage [WLP] that has moved me the most alongside VT’s Lot 89 [WLP], but it’s a close call. Then there’s Guillon’s BFYB Vieille Reserve [WLP]. Happy days!
Scores 89 points.
With thanks to Phil. See you next year.
And that ladies & jellyspoons, is the end of the second TWE Cognac Show. Huge thanks to TWE team for yet another brilliantly executed spirits festival. Anyone running a similar event, take note – this is how to present a show that people will come back to again & again and recommend to their friends.
As one session at last year’s show [WLP], and two this year weren’t enough, if work allows, next year I shall attend all four sessions though I reckon that still won’t be ample given there’s so much to learn & absorb. Three days, now you’re talking. Also, at sometime in the near future TWE, can we please have the festival in Cognac.