Dudognon "K&L Exclusive Cuvee" Napoleon Cognac (750ml) SKU #1280115

Price: $49.99

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Tasting Notes

What we see in the U.S. of Cognac is a dark and supple sipping spirit, but what we don't always understand is that almost all of these brandies have been artificially sweetened & colored. That richness of caramel and oak isn't something that's inherent in most Cognacs, not unless they've been aged for thirty years or more. When we visit small producers who actually grow their own grapes and distill in micro-batches, we get the chance to taste unadulterated brandies of incredible finesse and beauty before they've been shipped off to negociant houses who add their artificial magic. Perhaps the best of these producers is Dudognon, a family run operation in the Grand Champagne region who is not only the best distiller in Cognac in our opinion, but also the purest. This Napoleon K&L blend we put together is a blend of two different brandies: one distilled from the standard Ugni Blanc, the other from a local grape called Montils, a rarity in the region. The goal was not to showcase weight, texture, or richness, but rather the incredible grace and beauty imparted into the distilled wines by the chalky soil. There's a minerality at play upon the first sip, like a splash of fine Chablis. There's a delicacy of fruit & a subtle hint of oak & spice, but there's a clear chalky and stony note until late on the finish when warm baking spices flicker faintly and gently. This is real Cognac. It's elegant, yet it has drive. *Please note, back label incorrectly states 100% Ugni Blanc*

Staff Reviews

  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    The glorious return of our most popular exclusive Cognac! Dudognon is a small producer in the heart of Grand Champagne. They are living the romantic vision of Cognac that doesn't exist in the big multinational drinks companies you already know. This is serious Cognac. There are no additives, no caramel, no sugar, no adulteration. Just the pure expression of incredibly high quality fruit. The results are phenomenal. It is both intensely flavorful and lifted. Delicate and powerful. Dense and full of finesse. The fruit and inherent high acidity of the grapes carries through to the final product in a way that is so often masked in Cognac. The Napoleon designation, while not a legally defined term, is commensurate with many XOs in terms of age. It's regularly used for an extra special bottling. This blend of Ugni Blanc and Montils certainly fits the bill.
  • Gary Westby
    By: Gary Westby
    K&L Staff Member
    Dudognon breaks the mold of mainstream Cognac in every way, and the results are complex, delicious and offer surprising value. Instead of huge advertising campaigns, they rely on their estate vineyards to grow the best possible grapes to make the best possible brandy. This has the authentic rancio character from long age that I look for in my digestif, as well as layers of dried fruit and subtle vanilla. This is far less sweet than most Cognac, making it perfect for enjoying after big meals!
  • Clyde Beffa Jr.
    By: Clyde Beffa Jr.
    K&L Staff Member
    Wow- was my first word after tasting this cognac on November 8th. How could a cognac selling for under $50 be so good? Sure it is Grand Fine Champagne Cognac and it was blended and bought by our David D who has a pretty good palate, but this is too good to be true.Very delicate on the palate with lots of minerality on the finish. Spicy and lively, This is real Cognac. It deserves a place in your liquor cabinet.
    Drink from 2016 to 2026
  • Andrew Stevens
    By: Andrew Stevens
    K&L Staff Member
    Light, complex, elegant, dry, mineral driven, generally I do not use any of these descriptors when discussing Cognac, but fortunately the Cuvee Napoleon II from Dudognon is not the typical Cognac. Showcasing a different side and style entirely from the types of Cognac's brought into the US this the Napoleon II hints at vanilla and white stone fruit while remaining earthy and dry. There is a layer of minerality and good acid here, again so different from my typical Cognac. While this is not the Cognac for everyone, it is definitely worth getting into if you are ready to explore something delicious and new.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a fantastic Cognac from one of my favorite Cognac producers. Anything from Dudognon is always a go to product because of the high quality and the purity of their Cognacs. The Dudognon Napoleon is a Cognac that reflects the terroir of the Grand Champagne region. In the nose it is pretty with subtle floral notes. In the mouth it is very dry, light and complex with a hint of mineral undertones. There are no additives like sugar or caramel to get in the way or influence the taste of this subtle and delicious Cognac.


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