Jean Luc Pasquet Tresors de Famille Le Cognac de Claude (500ml)
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Jean Luc Pasquet Tresors de Famille Le Cognac de Claude (500ml)

Cognac, FRANCE
$260. 00 Bottle
$3120.00 Dozen
ABV: 49.8%

'Le Cognac de Claude' is a first in Pasquet's new Trésors de Famille range ('Family Treasures'). The mid 1980s distillate was bottled from a single 400-liter cask sourced from the Hilaire family’s Angeac-Champagne vineyards located in Grande Champagne. A tribute to Claude and his wife, Arlette who, although not named, was fundamental in its creation, the couple have dedicated their lives to caring for their vineyards, family, and business. Such was their devotion that they even planted the day after their own wedding! The vineyard from which this Cognac came belonged to Claude’s mother’s family and is today run by Claude and Arlette’s grandchildren. Arlette also comes from a line of vintners, and although she moved a few kilometers away to Claude’s family vineyard, her heart remained tied to one land. The Hilaire’s Cognac has been distilled on the family property for as long as anyone can remember, and each member of the household contributes to the production where they are of most use. Although both Claude and Arlette distilled, it is Arlette who possesses a real flair for the wood-burning pot still and she has since taught her grand daughter, Laura the art. Today, most vintners sell almost all of their harvest, however Claude’s family has kept with tradition and instead store more than 75% of the eaux-de-vie that they craft. This stunning Grande Champagne vintage is the first in what will be a long line of exquisitely aged Cognacs to come out of the estate. It comes suitably presented in a classic cognacaise bottle featuring a scripted vignette and red wax seal. Though not stated, this is a recent release, presumably bottled in the late Summer months of 2021 making it either 36 or 37 years old. Purists should note, Pasquet does not add colouring nor any other additives. Very limited stocks from an outturn of 731 bottles. 49.8% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... I imagine it will gain additional clarity with air, but it’s dazzling on first pour. I first smell sparkling clean miel de fleurs, a medium strength floral honey found all over the place here in France. Then I get a sweet tobacco note. I’ve smelled this sweet tobacco note in some men’s fragrances (Le Labo’s Tabac parfum is one such ultra clear tobacco-woody smell that I pick up in more mature Cognacs). Maybe I’m dreaming but I pick up a faint grassiness. And after those initial waves of smells comes a layer of fruit: mirabelle plums, greengages, and fruit cocktail cups in syrup. I can’t explain this, but at various moments I thought I was smelling a rum from Savanna, a quality rum producer from Reunion island. I digress, this is a great nose! Palate: Even at 49.8% ABV, it amazes me just how well this Cognac de Claude wears its alcohol. Curiously, the finest spirits always give off a strong sense of composure and poise regardless of the alcoholic strength. Pasquet deserves a major tip of the cap for finding this Cognac’s sweet spot in terms in ABV. Bravo! After getting over the balance of the Cognac, I’m met with layers of fruit: mirabelle plums, sultanas in syrup, and fruit cocktail cups – peaches, mandarins, and some white grapes (from my childhood days). The previously mentioned miel de fleurs is present too, and pate de coing shows up as well. Interesting, the sweet earthy tobacco note only showed up on the nose for me, not in the mouth. The texture is full but not palate staining. It manages to coat the mouth while still maintaining a sense of elegance. This is as fine a glass as I’ve had recently. As always, slow down and let the glass reveal all it has to say. Finish: Dare I say the finish is so long that it even bothers me. Seriously, the fruit, honey, and spice flavors linger so long on the entirety of my tongue that taking another sip feels like an interruption. I have no problem taking my time, but these flavors struggle to fade away. I know, what an unhelpful complaint. Kidding aside, I’m impressed by the depth of flavor, the richness of texture, and length of the fruit, earth, and spice notes. I might not brush my teeth tonight. Le Cognac de Claude flexes its muscles and shows what the Grande Champagne is capable of at a certain maturity. While far from being an aggressive Cognac, the 49.8% ABV level will cater more to demanding palates – so Cognac and general spirits nerds. That being said, I keep coming back to how well it wears its alcohol. There really is a sense of comfort and composure from tasting this Cognac. But, it should not be your first time tasting overproof spirits. And if any whisky or rum enthusiasts are reading, jump on this bottle to see exactly what well-made optimally bottled mature Cognac has to offer. It will be impossible to regret it! - cognac-expert.com