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What is cognac?

In the early 16th century, brandy was invented by a Dutch trader and became very popular.

It was not until the 17th century that French was born.

Because of its small number of producing areas and round and beautiful taste, has been regarded as a symbol of nobility in a long period of history in Europe.

So, how should a good bottle of cognac be chosen?

 Looking at the origin is only one of the conditions for selection, and other factors also directly affect the quality and different tastes of. Let us analyze in detail why has become the “top nobleman” in brandy.

98% of the grape varieties used to make cognac come from Bai Yuni

Cognac is made of the same raw materials like wine, and different grape raw materials have other advantages. There are many grapes suitable for brewing. Bai Yuni, Bai Fuer, and pigeon white can all be the raw materials of , but the most important one is Ugni Blanc, which has strong resistance to phylloxera and high-quality results. Therefore, it is widely used by significant wineries.

Only French wines from the six most prominent sub-regions can be called cognac.

Although cognac can only come from the French producing area, there are still quality differences in its sub-producing place. In the mid-nineteenth century, Henri Coquand proposed a concept based on soil classification based on the quality of the “water of life” produced in different regions. Therefore, the production area was subdivided into six major production areas.

There are only four production areas with the highest quality, namely Baode area (marginal area, Taiwan translation), Grand Champagne area, Little Champagne area, and Youlin area. The flavors and fragrances produced in each region have their characteristics, and all Martell’s are taken from these four high-quality production areas. Take Martell Cordon Bleu as an example. It is made from grapes from Baode District, which has  ​​only 5 hectares in the world. It uses 200 kinds of “water of life” with the oldest age of 25 years to produce elegance, mellowness, and rich layers—the iconic.

The pursuit of deep differentiation in the brewing process makes Martell a little different.

Cognac is a kind of brandy. Its brewing process follows the traditional brandy distillation method. After two distillations, the original liquid’s 70% alcohol concentration is extracted, commonly known as the “water of life.” However, in the same brewing process, the quality of the brewed will be different due to different techniques and methods.

Different Ordinary Cognac Production

Unlike ordinary cognac production, Martell will remove the grape pomace (wine mash) and distill it, invisibly reducing the yield by 10%, making Martell’s more concentrated and precious than other brands. The taste is smoother. . The two distilled “heads” and “tails” retained. The original wine adds again to repeat the distillation to obtain a more decadent aroma than other brands. The use of older oak barrels with less output and finer grain for aging makes Martell’s more mellow and more precious.

Thousands of “waters of life” stored in the Martell cellar brewed with Bai Yuni as raw materials. Through the blend of various “waters of life” by the winemaker, various cognacs with different aromas and layers created, which can meet people’s choices with other occasions and needs.

Martell XXO typical representative of all the high-quality DNA of Martell, using more than 400 different “water of life” for blending, of which the oldest “water of life” can reach 70 years, and the youngest” The “water of life” must also age in oak barrels for at least 14 years. The taste layer and fruity outstanding, and every drop are memorable. It can say that Martell XXO is the most mysterious luxury of the Chanterelle Manor.

The fascinating taste of cognac is slowly told over the years of aging

A good like a history book that has deposits over time, full of traces left by time, and when opened, it gives people a sense of timelessness and freshness. Many people should know that has XO grades. Cognac has a strict grading system, and XO is just one of them.

According to the aging time of the water of life in oak barrels, divides into four primary grades: VS, VSOP, XO, and XXO from low to high.

VS (Very Special):

 The abbreviation of Very Special, meaning “very special ,” also known as three-star (★★★) , is the lowest grade classified by the National Cognac Industry Administration, requiring oak barrels to age without Less than two years is enough.

The minimum age of VS Cognac has just met the bottom line of regulations. As the youngest style of Cognac, VS is light and unrestrained, and its drinking occasions are more relaxed and casual. It can enjoy casually in the summer afternoon or as a drink for dinner. Enjoy anytime.

VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale): 

VSOP is the abbreviation of “Very Superior Old Pale,” which means “very high-quality aged light-colored cognac.” The French “National Cognac Industry Administration” stipulates that the age of oak barrels. It shall not be less than four years for the youngest water of life used to prepare VSOP.

VSOP originally came from Cognac Pale, which light-colored cognac. In the 17th century, cognac was already a popular premium drink among European aristocrats. But wineries usually added caramel to the wine to deepen the color and make the taste sweeter. The British Crown Prince George IV does not like this approach. He prefers bright colors and flavor to maintain the authentic cognac. Therefore, in 1817, he ordered a cognac with no added caramel from a cognac distillery. And specifically marked the cognac as Cognac Pale on order. This cognac dedicated to the royal family quickly became popular. And eventually became one of the symbols of the cognac class.

XO (Extra Old):

 The abbreviation of “Extra Old,” means “extra old age.” Also, by the regulations of the National Cognac Industry Administration. It uses to mix XO’s youngest water of life, aged in oak barrels. Not less than 11 years. Compared with VSOP’s 5-year minimum aging. XO requires higher requirements, so the time cost and material cost to produce it are higher. This is a higher grade, and the price is higher.

For a long time, the water of life used by significant. Wineries to prepare XO are much higher than the legal standard. The youngest water of life of many brands of XO has aged for more than 12 years, and some even more than 18 years. This, of course, will increase the production cost, but XO is not only about time but also about quality. Therefore, long-term aging requires the wine to develop a full and round character and rich aroma during oxidation.

XXO (Extra Extra Old):

 It combines 450 kinds of “water of life” from the four major producing areas of into the new Martell XXO. With a more extended cellaring year, it brings connoisseurs beyond the XO level Luxury experience. The youngest base wine has aged in oak barrels for more than 12  years.

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