The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 48 of 136

48  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2015 COGNAC "M y favorite Cognac," says Patrice Pinet, "depends on the time of day, the occasion and what it's being served with." Pinet is President, General Manager and Master Blender of Courvoisier. He's just the sixth Courvoisier master blender in 200 years and crafts each of their spirits for a particular profile and purpose. To create Courvoisier's array of products, Pinet chooses from up to 100,000 components. These include Cognacs made from the fruit of 600 different growers under long- term contract. Two-hundred of them also distill their own Cognac, which they provide to Courvoisier. These growers represent four of the six Cognac grow- ing regions, each with its own distinct signatures. There are also differences in aging, from two years in barrel to more than 25, in the oak used. The goal of blending is to maintain an identical profile for each product without vintage variation. COURVOISIER PROVIDES SOMETHING FOR EVERY PALATE by Fred Swan Courvoisier VSOP Fine Cognac, for drinking neat or in a cocktail, emphasizes floral notes. The nose is complex but inviting, with baked apple, peach, cinnamon, toast and tropi- cal flowers. It's creamy and round in the mouth with additional flavors of wood, vanilla and toasted almonds. The finish is smooth and fruity-floral. Courvoisier Exclusif VSOP provides full flavor, even when diluted with water, ice or mixers, but is lovely neat as well. Expect cream, violets, orange pith, spice, apples, ginger and roasted coffee. The palate has more density than the VSOP while being less fruity and spicier. Courvoisier Napoleon is made from Cognacs with an average age of 15 years. For drinking neat and by itself, or perhaps with a cigar, it's smooth and mellow with spice, wood, tree fruit, caramel, vanilla and tobacco on the nose. Apricot and mushroom appear on the palate. Courvoisier XO highlights the qualities of aging. Its components are, at mini- mum, 25 years old. The nose offers vanilla crème brûlée, violets, pear, baked peach and candied orange. It's a good match for subtly sweet desserts. A Selection of Courvoisier Cognacs A Cognac for All Seasons Patrice Pinet is President, General Manager and Master Blender of Courvoisier. PHOTO: STEPHANIE SECREST

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