Cognac Tesseron Lot No. 29 Xo 'Exception'

  • Tesseron Cognac Lot N°29 "Exception" is the rare jewel of the Tesseron collection of Cognacs
  • 100 points "as ethereal Cognac as anyone could ever hope to drink." Robert Parker
  • "Amazing aromatics... Feels so very smooth... Wow. Wow." Mike Bennie (Tasted May 2012)
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Robert Parker's
    100 points

Editors notes

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.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Aroma
    • Baked Apple
    • Fig
    • Prune
  • Palate
    • Baked Apple
    • Fig
    • Prune

Food Pairings

  • Dessert

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

    "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."

Other vintages

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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.

About the brand Tesseron Cognac

The Tesseron family is well-known among wine enthusiasts as the proprietors of two prominent Bordeaux wineries, Pontet Canet and Lafon Rochet. However, it was their work in Cognac that initially brought them fame. Since 1905, Cognac Tesseron has been distilling, aging, and blending old, XO Cognacs. Today, they select the very best brandies from their vast reserves of ancient blends and combine them to create five unique and exquisite XO Cognacs. Despite being located in a region that is primarily dominated by major brands, the Tesseron family has managed to establish themselves as a genuine benchmark. Their success is similar to that of the top grower-producers in Champagne (as opposed to the Grandes Marques), in that the exceptional quality of Tesseron's XO-only Cognacs has allowed this family-owned producer to carve out a significant niche among the giants of the Cognac world.

Prior to releasing their own small batches of Cognacs, the Tesseron family had been a highly respected supplier of old, XO Cognacs to large houses for over a century. The estate still grows all three traditional Cognac grape varieties—Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard. Although Folle Blanche and Colombard have nearly disappeared in the region due to their difficulty in growing and low crop yield, they are essential as they add an extra dimension to the final blend.

The Tesseron cellars, which date back to the 13th century and were formerly part of the crypt of the local church, are cool and damp and the perfect location to age Cognac. Here, young 'eaux-de-vie' is left to age and mature quietly in old oak casks for many years. These casks are made by craftsmen from ancient oaks that were felled in the nearby Limousin forests. During the aging process, the Cognac gently oxidizes, absorbs soft tannins from the old oak casks, and some is lost forever due to evaporation, also known as the "angels' share."

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