Ragnaud Sabourin is the only known producer of cognac who still uses all eight permitted grape varieties. The main grape variety used in Cognac is the Ugni Blanc, which represents about 95% of all grapes used. Colombard and the old pre-phylloxera grape Folle Blanche are the second most used grapes, representing around 4.5% of the cognac mix - so the remaining five varieties are only very rarely known, let alone seen. They are Jurançon, Blanc Ramé, Bouilleaux, Chalosse and the oldest of all the Balzac blanc.
Many cognac professionals will advise that the grape variety does not make a significant difference to the cognac. That may be true of the highly blended products used for producing VSOP, XO, etc but it is not the case with Ragnaud Sabourin who produce many single estate cognacs with some wonderful characteristics.
The firm came to prominence around the middle of the last century and it is no coincidence that they share the same name as Raymond Ragnaud, just up the road in Ambleville (the connection ended around the middle of the last century with a considerable level of family acrimony). The firm was started by one Gaston Briand, who was president of the growers association and succeeded by his daughter and son in law, Denise and Marcel Ragnaud and their daughter Annie and son in law Paul Sabourin.
The estate is more than 50 hectares deep in the heart of Grande Champagne and produces some of the loveliest cognacs - deep floral and fruity aromas with a classic and deep woody style. All the cognacs produced are aged for longer than the minimum periods. The firm claim that there is no blending of crus, just simply a single appellation of ageing that has provided its reputation for their cognacs fine quality. Whatever they say, their cognacs are exceptional in quality and are some of the most complex light cognacs we have tasted.
The family started selling cognacs about 60 years ago and are quite well know as independent sellers. The older cognacs are splendid examples of well aged Grande Champagnes and have rich woody and floral qualities.
Perhaps the best known fine cognac from this firm whose blending shows just how good these cognacs can be. Dried citrus and walnut tastes, with rancio qualities.