Martell Unveils New Ultra-Premium Cognac

This new product is a blend of 1,400 different eaux-de-vie.

Recent news regarding the Cognac category hasn't been great, with reports of declining sales from major brands like LVMH and Remy Cointreau. But that hasn't stopped the introduction of new high-quality editions, as evidenced by a truly unique new expression from Maison Martell - a limited blend that was aged in barrels made from 300-year-old oak in a historic chateau.

The new L'Or de Jean Martell Reserve du Chateau de Chanteloup was unveiled last December at a lavish dinner at the historic home of the Martell family, Chateau de Chanteloup, alongside Cognac cocktails and a multi-course tasting menu created by Michelin-starred chef Alexandre Mazzia. Each round of artfully prepared dishes was paired with special Martell Cognac expressions, all leading up to the big reveal - the new L'Or Reserve Cognac emerged from a secret compartment underneath the table accompanied by a string quartet playing dramatic passages of classical music.

Reserve du Chateau de Chanteloup was created by cellar master Christophe Valtaud, the ninth person to hold this title in Martell's 300-year history. The blend comprises more than 1,400 eaux-de-vie from four crus of the Cognac region, and according to Valtaud, each provides a specific flavor profile - Borderies for floral notes, Grande Champagne for structure, Petite Champagne for softer flavors, and Fins Bois for its fruity character. The final blend was finished in special barrels made from three-century-old oak harvested from sustainably managed forests, chosen for its uniquely fine grain. These casks were placed in the Château de Chanteloup for a final aging period, and presumably, the temperature and humidity of that specific location had some impact on the interaction between spirit and wood.

Valtaud told Robb Report that he started working on this new blend about seven years ago and wanted it to be different from previous L'Or releases. "I wasn't just changing the blend, but also the mindset behind it," he says. "It's a limited edition that we will change each time, paying tribute to a different place." This new expression, essentially a revamp of the L'Or line, will be followed by three releases in the coming years, each aged in a different chateau and blended to capture a different element of the Martell Cognac character.

Valtaud won't reveal the exact ages of the eaux-de-vie in the blend, but says they range from 10 to over 100 years old. The final blend spent at least one year in lightly toasted 300-year-old oak barrels, and he likens the effect of the wood on the spirit to that of Japanese mizunara. "It really gives it something special on the palate," he says. "It has a texture and flavor that's very delicate, very floral. To create a good Cognac takes time." On the palate, there are notes of sour cherry, chocolate-orange, blueberry compote, raspberry, and lemon curd, followed by flavors like espresso, apple cider, fig, raisin, and apricot.

Just 1,000 bottles of L'Or de Jean Martell Reserve du Chateau de Chanteloup will be available starting February 26 (SRP $7,500). The Cognac comes in a Baccarat crystal decanter with 19-carat gold on the neck, each housed inside a handmade wooden cabinet. Check ReserveBar starting next week to secure your bottle, and you can find other Martell expressions, including previous L'Or releases, available for purchase now.

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