Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Gourry de Chadeville Cognac
Nicolas Palazzi, aka Captain Cognac - brandy importer extraordinaire, sent me a new brandy, which is always a good thing. I'm not sure anyone picks their Cognacs as carefully as Palazzi, who is very strict about pure spirit with none of the nasty additives and coloring that are typically poured into mass market Cognac.
His latest is a single cask, cask strength, non-chill filtered Cognace from the House of Gourry de Chadeville, a Grande Fine Champagne estate which claims to be the oldest Cognac producer, having acquired their vineyards in 1619. This Cognac is made from Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard grapes. It carries no age statement and weighs in at 64.3% abv, which is huge for a Cognac. There are 330 bottles.
Gourry de Chadeville Cognac, 64.3% abv ($150)
The nose is just huge with chocolate, wood spice and some grassy/earthy notes at the end. It doesn't smell like any Cognac I've ever sniffed. The palate is dense with flavor. It comes on sweet then gets some of those chocolate notes with dried fruit underneath. Then it turns to a bourbon like sweet and spicy mix with lots of big, earthy notes leading into a finish that is fruity on the nose but spicy on the palate. A few drops of water has a big impact, adding some clove and anise on the nose and lots of spice on the palate.
The flavors here are much more akin to an Armagnac than most Cognacs I've had. There is lots of spice and much less fruit than the typical Cognac. It's wonderful, unique stuff with a lot going on. I keep tasting it, and I keep getting new flavors.
I've howled for years about how I'd love to see higher proof, single cask offerings from Cognac, and it's great to see that we're finally getting one.
This is so complex, oaky and spicy that it will be great for whiskey geeks. Miss out on BTAC this year? Grab one of these. Right now, it's available at Astor Wines for $150, and I'm told, it will soon be at K&L as well for $130.