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The Good & Great Cognac House - Chateau Montifaud

Perhaps this is one of cognac’s little gems or maybe just lucky to have found a slice of land that is both ideal for their needs and of sufficient size to make adequate wines for their needs. The Vallet family who run this rather modern looking Chateau are now in their sixth generation, the vineyard was created by Augustin Vallet in 1837 and over the years he has been succeeded by Pierre, Maurice, Louis and Michel. In 2000 Laurent Vallet has joined his father as the sixth generation to run this fine house.

The firm is situated in Petite Champagne d’Archiac and currently has about 75 hectares of vine which makes on current production permits around 700 hectolitres of pure spirit or around 170,000 bottles of cognac every year. Their style is lighter than others around the area and they use a small percentage of both Colombard and Folle Blanche in with the Ugni Blanc. The firm distil on the lees and this together with the added fruitiness of the Colombard grapes creates a fruity style reminiscent of Apricots.

Perhaps though, the most interesting thing about this firm is that although they are firmly situated in Petite Champagne, they also have a small vineyard which is in Grande Champagne and is used almost exclusively for the production of a ten year old cognac of a most magical style and showing extremely soft and well balanced properties.

The family tradition is that when a new family member comes into the business a quantity of cognac from that year is laid aside for future generations and stocks of old cognacs in their cellars still date from 1920. Montifaud’s production is modern and control of SO2 is good thus preventing oxidation of the wines after crushing. They use no additives and ageing is natural with a percentage of their vintage cognacs being aged in Tronçais oak barrels.