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Nineteenth Century Cognacs Join the Hermitage Range

Nineteenth century cognacsWe have had an exciting week adding new products to our shelves all of which are nineteenth century cognacs.  One is in fact a pre-phylloxera cognac and the others were produced at the time when the louse outbreak was sweeping through France.  Two of the cognacs are additions to our Paradis range, and therefore are in extremely limited supply, and the other is a particularly rare bottling from Roullet & Delamain.  Enjoy exploring them:

Hermitage Paradis 1887 Grande Champagne Cognac

Produced by the House of Guiziet, situated just outside Segonzac, on the road to Barbezieux, it stands on the Cognacian chalk slopes where the vines can penetrate up to thirty metres. At the time, the estate was about 7 hectares in size but only produced about 3000 litres of wine from its Folle Blanche grapes.  Once distilled, the ensuing spirit was kept in oak casks for about 75 years before being placed into bonbonnes.  Very long barrel ageing has created a beautifully balanced cognac, together with an intense chocolate brown / deep scarlet colour and depth of flavours.  Did you know?  In 1887, the United Kingdom celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Hermitage Paradis 1883 Grande Champagne Cognac

Originates from a tiny village called Corcheville, near Eraville, on the east side of Grande Champagne. The tiny, 3 hectare estate grew a mixture of Folle Blanche and Colombard grapes and the cognac was aged in Limousin casks which were almost certainly stored in an old barn.   Having aged for a staggering 90 – 100 years, this cognac was removed from the wood and placed into glass bonbonnes.  It is superbly balanced, with an intense dark tan / deep scarlet colour and depth of flavours, and is presented at its cask strength of 41.4% abv.  Did you know?  In 1883, the English cricket team, on a tour of Australia, were first presented with the ashes of a bail.

Roullet & Delamain 1858 Grande Fine Champagne Cognac

The history of the Roullet Сognac House dates back to the eighteenth century when Paul Frédéric Roullet founded the Cognac House in 1772. He managed to enter into a close relationship with the Royal Court and Napoleon Bonaparte was known to become one of the first connoisseurs of the Roullet Cognac House.  At the beginning of the nineteenth century Paul Roullet married the daughter of the Delamain Cognac House founder, the oldest cognac producing family still famous for its drinks’ production. This marriage resulted in the consolidation of the two houses and the company was called Roullet & Delamain for sometime.  Did you know?  In 1858, the Lourdes Apparitions were first reported by Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old miller’s daughter.


Hermitage Paradis 1875 Cognac

1875 cognacWe are very excited to introduce a new cognac to our shelves, and our Hermitage Paradis range, the 1875 vintage.  Only a few bottles remain of this old 1875 cognac which originally came from a cellar near Bouteville, in the cru now known as Grande Champagne.  It was distilled on a very small still and then aged for more than 75 years in a cellar built against a limestone cutting.  The cellar floor and walls were natural, with no cement or concrete, which made it ideal for ageing old cognacs.

The production of cognacs in the 18th and 19th centuries was a way of farming the land that growers owned. At the time these cognacs were made, there were perhaps more than 1500 different growers in the region, each making their wines, distilling them and putting them into cellars to age in oak casks. The skills employed had been handed down from generations before them.  Not every brandy which the growers produced was of a quality that stood out as being truly exceptional but now and again a cognac would be sufficiently good to be kept to one side and stored for the future. The year that the cognac was made was always recorded with a chalk mark on the barrel.


We understand that this cognac was removed from cask and placed in bonbonnes between 1950 and 1955, making it 75 – 80 years old.  Our tasting notes confirm that the cognac has developed a significant rancio consistent with very long cask ageing.  Specific tasting notes can be found here.