Brandy is one of the most complex and misunderstood categories today. It's clear that the big producers see a bright future for craft Brandy and consolidation has already begun to hit the category. One of the most shocking acquisitions took place three years ago when E. & J. Gallo Winery purchased Ukiah's very own Germain Robin. In the transition a small project developed by Kurt Charron of Chareau liqueur was unearthed. The tiny batch in question had been distilled in the spring of 2013 from 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested at the Roederer Estate in Anderson Valley. The grapes were vinified as you would most red wines allowing malolactic fermentation to occur naturally and was double distilled in Germain Robin's famous alembic pot stills. This fine eau-de-vie was filled into French Limousin oak for five years and matured in the traditional manner. The resulting brandy is completely unique and a rare snapshot of what that special distillery was known for through the very thoughtful eye of Mr. Charron. This may be as close as we'll ever get to Germain Robin Single Varietals again and while it was bottled at a youthful five years of age there is already a resounding depth and complexity to it. Filled with vibrant aromatics and brimming with life, this is one of the liveliest and most alluring little brandies in the store.
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By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
The totally wild small batch expression from Kurt Charron is one of the last single varietal brandies we'll ever see from the old Germain Robin distillery. His Chareau distillery in Oxnard is producing brandies and the excellent Aloe Liqueur of the same name. But, Kurt has a thing for brandy. He went up to visit our old friends in Ukiah in 2013. There he distilled high-quality Pinot Noir from the legendary Roederer Estate in Anderson Valley and placed it into traditional French oak casks. The nose is restrained but packed full of classic brandy flavors. It smells just like some of the old Single Varietal GR's that sold for $150. The palate is soft and round with tons of stone fruit and plenty of texture and depth. Hints of spice and vanilla on the finish. At this price, we're looking at one of the best values for American craft brandy on the market and a direct resonance from the wonderful lineage created by Ansley Coale and the original Germain Robin crew.
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