Day 2 of the new explorations into Cognac, with today a sample of François Voyer Terres de Grande Champagne Cognac bottled at 40% appearing from behind door number 2 at the Drinks by the Drams Cognac Advent Calendar. In my search to learn more about Cognac I stumbled onto this website maybe it will help me to understand more of this product. If you have any good tips for me to look at to understand more then please let me know, always eager to learn.
Looking at this dram, what can I find on the nose? I find it a bit dusty at first mixed with flavours of diverse nuts and wood shavings. Soft notes of spices and tobacco appear but the sweet notes behind it are hidden a bit. The palate shows that sweetness directly with notes of creamy vanilla, red apple, black current, plums, raisins, caramel, dried cranberry, honeysuckle, ginger bread and soft spices. Soft and not a long finish. Thanks Drinks by the Dram for sharing this! Want to know a bit more about Francois Voyer? Below I collected some information from their website…
We age all our eau de vie in new barrels for the first 3 years in the cellars to give a certain structure. After this we transfer into old barrels to refine and fix the flavours and tastes in the ageing cognacs. All our barrels are made from French oak from the Limousin and are given a medium ‘toast’ on the interior during manufacture. To assist in widening the ‘palette’ of aromas we also use cellars with different atmospheric conditions. Dry and damp cellars impart flexibility and smoothness to the bouquet depending on what is required for that particular cognac.
Since the time of the French Revolution our vines have been cultivated in the sun-drenched vineyards of the old stone villages of Verrieres and Ambleville; two villages with an exceptional reputation for fine cognac in the Grande Champagne Cru, the Premier Cru of Cognac. In this fine ‘terroir’ the Chauchet – Voyer family have harvested the grapes, distilled wine and aged the resulting eau de vie in oak barrels for 5 generations.
Voyer is one of a few Cognac Houses who distill their own production. We very gently squeeze our grapes in a pneumatic press and make a white wine from the alcoholic fermentation of the resulting grape juice. The fermentation is carefully controlled by selecting the right yeast for the prevailing weather conditions (some yeasts are good in hot conditions others in cold!). A good choice in yeast will allow the subtle characteristics of that particular year to be realised in the wine. The finished wine is dry and slightly acidic, with an alcohol content of between 9 and 10% of its volume. Once the wine is ready we distill it twice in our two traditional Charentaise stills, the oldest of which is 30 years old. Our stills have a capacity of 2,500 litres and 2,000 litres respectively.
Just like its equally famous neighbour Bordeaux (that has world renown crus like Pomerol and St Emillion) the region of Cognac is also divided into separate crus. There are 6 of them called: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fin Bois, Bon Bois, and Bois Ordinaires. Each cru imparts different characteristics to the cognac produced there, and the cru of Grand Champage is renown for it’s staying power on the palate, its aromatic and powerful flavour and its capacity to age for a very long time.