David Baker and Brandyclassics
It was in the early 1980s that whilst visiting Monaco, the sommelier of a well known hotel in the Principality offered David a cognac to taste after his dinner. It was quite exceptional and after several more provided the name of the cognac and the house. Some time after, David visited the firm which turned out to be in Jarnac with the intention of buying a bottle. The Cognac turned out to be no less than the A. E. Dor 1840 which even in those days was worth well over a thousand pounds a bottle. David formed Brandyclassics and a distribution for Dor cognacs was started but it soon became obvious that the need to look further afield was crucial.
David started work in identifying the very finest producers of cognacs and other brandies from the top crus in the key brandy production areas of France. David's knowledge of the French cognac and brandy producers is highly regarded not just by his French colleagues who offer thousands of cognacs and brandies for tasting but also by clients all over the world who have experienced his knowledge and understanding of the classic brandy markets. His work with hundreds of producers and enthusiasm for the old and specialised firms who produce the very finest golden nectars is linked to his ability to communicate the unbelievable qualities in the vast array of cognacs and brandies to those who have not had the benefit of experiencing pure naturally aged brandies.
David still gives talks and is often found training bar and restaurant staff in the worlds finest hotels and restaurants.
Nick, journalist & leading author of many cognac books has been a regular visitor to Brandyclassics over the years tasting the many cognacs in the range. This is what Nick has to say about Brandyclassics.
"Most cognac lovers mourn the fact that four firms account for seven out of eight bottles of the precious liquid sold in the world. But it doesn't worry me, because the bigger the firms the more room there is for the little 'uns, provided of course that they're good little-uns and as the author of the standard work on Cognac I spend most of my time hunting out the best of them. And David Baker's Brandy Classics is both small and good. He's been in love with cognac for decades and has spent the past twenty years searching out some of the hoards of fine brandies owned by growers (or brokers or small merchants for that matter) too selective to see their precious casks transformed into just one of the hundreds of ingredients in the more expensive brandies offered by the Big Four.
But they trust David to provide their brandies with a better fate: as individual examples in the unique Hermitage range he has developed. For every one of his offerings comes from a single grower, usually in the Grande Champagne - though he's not afraid to offer the best brandies from other regions like the Borderies and Fins Bois - which are often the contents of a single cask. What is more - and something I greatly appreciate - he's choosy, he firmly rejects most of the brandies he's offered and, rarest of all, he knows his suppliers well enough to guarantee the age statement on their bottles. This can be before the arrival of the phylloxera bug or as late as the end of the 20th century.
Good luck David!"