This rare bottle, of which only 738 were made, comes from a single cask found in Rémy Martin’s cellars — this is only the second time an individual cask has been bottled in Rémy Martin’s 140-year history.
Situated on the banks of the Charente River, the Cognac region of France is divided into six different crus (cru is French term for growth zones): Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and Bois Ordinaire. The Grande Champagne cru, which comprises approximately 34,000 hectares, is known for its quiet hills and rich, chalky soil, and is considered to produce the finest cognac in the region.
Louis XIII cognac is unique in a multitude of ways — to start, Rémy Martin (the producers of Louis XIII) harvests grapes from the Grande Champagne cru, then distills “on lees”, referring to the solids left over from pressing the grapes. This lends a more concentrated character to the final product, and Rémy Martin is the only producer to do this.
Then, the resulting “eaux-de-vie” (French for “water of life”) is aged in French Limousin oak casks that have been cut, aged for two years, charred and formed to the exact specifications necessary for crafting Louis XIII. As the liquid ages, it is transferred to older and older barrels, moving constantly from one cellar to the next in order to create just the right climate for aging.
Finally, to create the traditional Louis XIII cognac, over 1,200 different types Grand Champagne eaux-de-vie are blended together, with the youngest eaux-de-vie being 40 years old and the oldest being over 100 years old. Given this astounding aging process, each bottle of Louis XIII has been stewarded by at least three generations of cellar masters from Rémy Martin.
In the autumn of 2009, Cellar Master Pierrette Trichet was walking among the vast Rémy Martin cellars when she sampled a smaller cask and noticed its surprisingly unique characteristics. The next day, as she was walking in the fields along the Charente River, she realized what made the cask so unique — it was the bountiful aromas of fresh fruits, plums and dates. She marked this cask with chalk and carefully monitored it over the next several years, until in 2012, Trichet and her Deputy Cellar Master Baptiste Loisea decided the cask — Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 — had reached its peak, and for only the second time in Rémy Martin’s 140-year history, an individual cask of aging Louis XIII was selected to be bottled on its own.
Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 has a crisp autumn aroma, with dried fruits, dates and nuts on the nose leading to red plums, wet stones and gingerbread on the palate. The finish is dry and seemingly everlasting, with notes of raisins, cedar and tobacco leaf.
Due to the small size of the cask, only 738 bottles of Louis XIII Rare Cask exist, all presented in beautiful Baccarat black-crystal decanters.
“Every year I personally taste every single tierçon and mark with chalk when I find any that has a different personality so that I may follow its evolution,” says Trichet. “So yes, I may be able to find another. But I have no idea when, or if, or how it is going to happen.”
Pick up this once-in-a-lifetime bottle today!
85.2 (42.6% ABV)
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Crisp autumn aroma, with dried fruits, dates and nuts on the nose leading to red plums, wet stones and gingerbread on the palate. The finish is dry and seemingly everlasting, with notes of raisins, cedar and tobacco leaf.