This Grand Champagne Cognac from Ragnaud represents our dedicated efforts to find excellent Cognac without heavy use of additional sweeteners or traditional boise. Distiller Jean-Marie has spent the last 30 years perfecting his pot-still brandies into delicate expressions of the fantastic terroir in the area. He is a firm believer in the idea that the limestone-rich soils of Grande Champagne produce wines that, when distilled, create brandies capable of aging in barrel for eternity. While we originally came in search of single-barrel Cognac, we tasted a few out of the cask and soon realized that Grand Champagne Cognac doesn't taste all that great in its youth--and by "youth" I mean anytime in the first 20 years of its life--nor does it taste too great out of the barrel. Usually the blends have more complexity because the expressive "young" brandy is balanced with the richness from older vintages. This Extra Vieux (25 year old) was our favorite of the expressions, exhibiting beautiful concentration and the elegance we've come to expect from world-class Cognac producers. Gentle richness on the entry leads into flavors of toasted nuts, stone fruit and vanilla, before finishing with a soft dash of baking spices. A masterful Cognac that managed to seduce us with subtlety and style, rather than with sweetness and weight. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)
By: Shaun Green
K&L Staff Member
Stunningly beautiful and elegant, the Extra Vieux from Raymond Ragnaud is one of the best cognacs I've tried for a while. Extremely charming and almost delicate in feel but very complex and persistent, it's destined to win any Cognac drinker over. Impressive and 25 years old, yet at a price that is hard to believe.
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