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pre-Phylloxera cognac

  • Cognac Investment - The Time Is Now

    Cognac InvestmentCraft Vintage Cognacs are rare and finding them is a specialist business as they are unique, and the level of luxury sought is only found in a few of the very finest and oldest cognac firms.  Vintage Premier Cru cognacs are in extremely limited supply. Very good, award-winning cognacs are even more rare which is why Hermitage Premier Cru Vintages are not generally available in the wider volume markets. The secret is to find the cellars that still house some of the oldest and rarest nectars still in existence.  Many of them belong to families who have, for generations, been producing cognacs.  These cognacs have been allowed to gradually mature through the ages, masterpieces forgotten in time.  Each special vintage is highly valuable and sealed in glass to preserve its greatness and value for future generations - a superb cognac investment.

    Today, increasing demand in the rapidly growing cognac market means that single estate vintages from the top crus are largely swallowed up into generic blends of indeterminate age and quality, their youthfulness obscured by syrups and caramel additives. Less is kept back by individual producers for the family cellars and much of that which is retained, is sold at a relatively early age.

    Cognac investmentRecent sales of some rare vintages have only served to highlight the value of old vintage cognacs. Prices of more than £200k a bottle were achieved on two occasions and we have seen other mouth-watering prices being paid. But not only have the prices of early pre-Phylloxera cognacs increased, so have the prices of more recent vintages and well-aged cognacs of 60 – 80 years as their availability decreases.  It is clear to the experienced cognac specialist that availability of the older ages is on the decline with some of the ‘grand marques’ supplied by the big houses already using lower aged cognacs from lesser crus in their blends.  Over the last 5 - 10 years, we have also seen the prices of some well-known commercial cognacs double. Bottles of Remy Louis XIII, which doesn’t even have an age statement, sold for about £1200 six or seven years ago but can now fetch more than £2500.  Richard Hennessy sold with a trade price in 2017 of around £1500 sells today at £3500 again, it has no age statement.  Clearly this is working to the producers’ advantage as the cognac barrel ages are almost certainly in decline.

    Premier cru cognacs from the Champagnes are slow in ageing and naturally aged cognacs from this area will take fifty or more years in cask to develop their natural qualities.  Some form of age statement will provide the clearest indication of quality, and therefore value, since age and value are inextricably linked.  It is little wonder that clients with larger disposable assets are now investing in these extremely rare, older vintage cognacs. The time to do this is now for we do not know how much longer will we continue to find these old ‘rancio’ brandies that have matured to a rich and valuable glory.

  • The Price of Cognac History

    cognac historyM Restaurant has announced that it is to sell its bottle of 1894 cognac for over £6000 for a 25ml shot - that's the price of cognac history.  The bottle is reputedly the first blend ever produced by Jean Fillioux, who founded the Fillioux cognac house.  Snippets of history such as this are often priceless in the cognac world.  Over the years we have sold many such historically important bottles to luxury hotels in London.  The ultimate in super-premium spirits, these too have been sold by the measure for thousands of pounds.  But to command this sort of price tag, each must have a story attached.  Many were produced in the pre-Phylloxera era (pre 1875), when cognac production was considerably different from today, and produced by old family firms that may no longer be in existence.  The vintage may also be attached to an event in history, such as the beginning of the French revolution in 1789, which adds to its interest and value.  Selling very old cognac is a proven way of increasing bar takings but beware, establishing authenticity is a specialist business; we have been undertaking it for decades.

  • Sniffer Dogs To Detect Phylloxera

    The Phylloxera louse decimated vineyards across Europe in the late 1800s by attacking the roots of the vines.  Many wine and cognac producers lost their livelihoods as a result.  Keeping vines Phylloxera free is therefore vital to the survival of the industry so this latest announcement from Melbourne University is extremely exciting.  Scientists are researching the effectiveness of sniffer dogs in detecting the existence of the louse in the initial stages.  Dogs already trained as ‘sniffers’ can easily be taught to detect other scents and it is hoped that this will extend to early stage Phylloxera at depths of up to a metre below soil level.  We have a number of Very Old Cognacs produced in the pre-Phylloxera era when Folle Blanche was the most commonly used vine.

    Read more news from the cognac industry here.