Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tesseron Cognacs

I've been a fan of Tesseron cognacs for quite some time, but they have remained in relative obscurity until a few months ago. At least in the circles I run in. Thanks to David Nathan-Maister at Finest and Rarest, some light has been shed on the brand. So much so, that I thought I'd go out and replenish my supply and do some reviews. A big shout out to Joe Riley at Ace Beverage in Washington DC, who had a good selection from the line.

First, a bit of brand history, blatantly copied from David's Tesseron page, which is one of the most informative I've found on the brand:

Cognac Tesseron is one of the great secrets of Cognac. Abel Tesseron created the company in 1905, relying at the time on two separate estates, one situated in the Grande Champagne area (Boneuil) and the other in Petite Champagne (Saint-Surin). He adopted a long term policy of buying up stocks of the oldest and finest eaux-de-vie, carefully conserved in a twelfth century crypt. Despite a very low public profile, this little known firm is today revered in the region, as owners of the largest stocks of great old cognac in existence. In their legendary innermost cellar or paradis, lie an incredible 2200 glass demijohns (most around 25 litres) of cognac dating from between 1825 and 1906, painstakingly built up by three generations of the Tesseron family. This treasure trove of 19th century cognac is supplemented by hundreds of oak casks of the very finest cognac dating from the first half of the 20th century. There is no comparable collection in Cognac or anywhere else - the Tesseron holdings are unique, and irreplaceable.

And now my thoughts on each:

Lot 90 'Selection': aromas of pears, membrillo, maple and soda bread. Taste is young, with leather, honey and dried fruits. A great ever day cognac. Good for Earthquake cocktails too.

Lot 76 'Tradition': Only made from Grande Champagne cognacs. A deeper and richer color than the 90. The aroma is also more delicate. Tea and mulled fruits. Flavor is citrusy with a noticeable rancio from the aging. The grape base is quite evident. Very smooth finish.

Lot 65 'Emotion': A special gift decanter edition. Nose of plums, leather and nougat. Flavors consist of tobacco, nuts, honey and baking spices. A dash of water brings out wonderful dark chocolate notes both in the nose and the flavor.

Lot 53 'Perfection': Absolutely gorgeous topaz/copper color. Deep and exotic. Lots of chocolate and old books on the nose. Figs as well. The flavor and texture is thicker and spicier than the younger line. Lots of dark chocolate and white pepper. Fantastic stuff.

Lot 29 'Exception': The only cognac to ever score a perfect 100 from Robert Parker. I can see why. This is exceptional cognac. Lots of leather, chocolate, oak and even cherries on the nose. The flavor is full of the same, along with a wonderful rancio (organic, earthy, mushroomy, umami type of aroma and flavor indicative of aged eau de vies). Spectacular.


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  2. Great reviews. I've Tasted all five listed above and much prefer lot 90 to anything else. The leather and honey really make it a remarkably smooth cognac.