Tesseron Lot 29 XO Exception Cognac (700ml)
The grandfather in the Tesseron collection with the oldest component hitting 70 years.
A blend of Grande Champagne cognacs distilled in the 1920s along with 5% from 1905 and 30% from 1906 with both Colombard and Folle Blanche in the mix. In terms of sheer finesse, effortless delivery and depth, Lot 29 is a high point in the Tesseron collection. The age of the material is on full show in a complex medley of dried fruits, honey, dark chocolate, liquorice, pipe tobacco and cigar box, rounded off in a super-fine, medium-long finish of hazelnut dark chocolate, saffron and feathery tannins. The alcohol is barely discernible. It may lack the power and length of its siblings, but this is easily Tesseron's most feminine and seamlessly integrated cognac - also one of the rarest. It's reported that only a few more years of production remain. Tasted from a 50ml sample. 40% Alc./Vol.
Other reviews... "...anything this smooth, silky, potent, and aromatic, is truly great stuff. It is about as ethereal Cognac as anyone could ever hope to drink." 100 points - Robert Parker, eRobertParker.com Oct 2005
...Aged by three generations, they say. But is this a 1929 indeed? What's sure is that Lot N°53 had already been quite sublime two or three weeks ago (WF 90). And never mind those 40% ABV, which are really out of fashion and have become quite devalued. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it's probably a little difficult after the Valleins, we're actually closer to some very old calvados here, it rather whispers and sighs, being a little herbal beyond some ripe apples and peaches that, having said that, keep expressing themselves after so many years. Affabile and con tenerezza. Mouth: more action than I had thought, but we remain far from the others – and far from Tesseron Lot N°53. Some sweetness, syrups, Nescafé (I know), a little pancake sauce, mead… Finish: shortish, on herbal teas, chamomile, stewed peaches… Some candy sugar in the aftertaste. Comments: I know I tend to be rather kind towards very old spirits, and of course, this cognac from the roaring twenties remains as nostalgic as an old Bugatti, but I believe that here the engine has lost a little horsepower. Still very good. 84 points - whiskyfun.com
..."This sits in the 'classic range' but is called 'Exception' because 'this is where Grande Champagne really soars'. Distilled in the 1920s and contains some colombard and folle blanche. 'This is pretty much what I consider my grandfather's Cognac, 1920s distilled but with a portion from a 1905 demi-john. For me this is a bit like a book, every time you go back to it it changes, something very special; the rancio is quite strong, but very different from the 1953; very special for us, and very rare to have it tasted, if at all. Very rare bottle, but this is our first visit to Australia so I really wanted to show it' so sayeth Melanie Tesseron. Bright golden with orange hue. Amazing aromatics; amazing. Incredible to inhale, no higher alcohol burn to turn a head away, but rich, sweet-tinged, spicy and fruity, even. There's the warmth of charred oak, wet logs, sandalwood and dark chocolate too. Feels so very smooth, lathed, slippery and yet insanely deep - triggers of fine woods, fresh honey, light rancio and a kind of liquid-mineral vein, firing in volleys within the contained frame of the Cognac. And while the texture remains supple, there's a long, slow burn of campfire-like embers to close; it glows with a definitive sweetness, and then ebbs away with freshening floral, toffee notes and an almost briny tang. Wow. Wow." - Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
...The nut-paste, oaky scents take on a citrusy tone as the smell turns fruitier the more it aerates; lovely and compelling. The palate entry is supple, fruity sweet, and ripe; the midpalate stage highlights melded flavors of light caramel, marzipan, and nougat. Ends up oaky- sweet, lightly spiced and satiny. 90-95 points - wineenthusiast.com