Cognac Tesseron Lot No. 29 Xo 'Exception'
1 or more bottles$960.00
Robert Parker100 points
The original jewel of the Tesseron collection of Cognacs; a unique blend of legendary Grande Champagne Cognacs, including many of the finest of their oldest and rarest stocks distilled in 1920s, with 5% of the blend from 1905, and lovingly aged for three generations. Remarkably pure and refined with floral, spices and green chartreuse hints. The palate is impeccably fine and balanced with a souring finish, seemingly free of spirit.
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- Baked Apple
- Baked Apple
Critic Scores & reviews
"The Tesseron family, who made their fortune in Cognac (but are probably best known by wine lovers as the proprietor of Pontet Canet and Lafon Rochet) released tiny quantities of single vintage Cognacs. Although French law does not permit a vintage date to be used, this is all from 1929, and is very limited in availability. I'm not an expert on Cognac, but anything this smooth, silky, potent, and aromatic, is truly great stuff. It is about as ethereal Cognac as anyone could ever hope to drink."
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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.
Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.
Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)
The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
Cognac is named after the town of Cognac in France and is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name. Ugni Blanc, which is known locally as Saint-Emilion, is the one most commonly used grape to produce Cognac. The region is divided in to six zones, Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Bordeies, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and lastly Bois Ordinaire, not to be confused with Champagne, the premier sparkling wine region in north east France.
Strict guidelines must be followed for a distilled brandy to be legally labelled as a Cognac by the Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Only specific grapes are allowed to be used, of which Ugni Blanc is the most common. The brandy must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged for a minimum of 24 months in French oak barrels from Limousis or Tronçais.
Blending is very common in Cognacs, and the age is derived from the age of the youngest grapes used in the blend. Cognacs develop and age in a similar way to Scotch Whiskies, though most Cognacs can age much longer than the legal requirement due to the time spent in the French oak barrels.
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About the brand Tesseron Cognac
The Tesseron family are best known by wine lovers as the owners of Pontet Canet and Lafon Rochet in Bordeaux, however it was in Cognac that they first became renown. Cognac Tesseron have distilled, aged and blended old, XO Cognacs since 1905. Today the very finest brandies are selected from this vast collection of ancient reserves and blended to create the five unique and beautiful XO Cognac. Despite being situated in a region that is totally dominated by large brands, the Tesseron family has succeeded in becoming a genuine benchmark. Theirs is a story that has some synergies with the top grower-producers in Champagne (vs. the Grandes Marques), in that it has been only the remarkable quality of Tesseron’s XO-only Cognacs that has allowed this family owned producer to carve out an important niche amongst the giants of the Cognac world. Before they started releasing small batches of these Cognacs under their own label, the Tesseron family had been a highly-reputed supplier of old, XO Cognacs to the large houses for over a century. Unusually all three traditional Cognac grape varieties Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard are still grown on the Tesseron estates. Folle Blanche and Colombard have almost disappeared in the region as they are difficult to grow and produce small crops, but are vitally important as they add an extra dimension to the final blend. The cool, damp Tesseron cellars dating back to the 13th century were once part of the crypt of the local church and the best place to age their cognac. It is here that the young 'eaux-de-vie' will be laid to rest, left in peace quietly to age and mature in old oak casks for many years. These casks were made by craftsmen from ancient oaks felled in the nearby forests of Limousin. During maturation the ageing Cognac will gently oxidise, soft tannins will be absorbed from the old oak casks and some will evaporate and be lost forever – the 'angels' share.