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Domaine des Tonneaux

Domaine des Tonneaux

Domaine des Tonneaux is characterized by an unwavering generosity and authenticity that resonate through every bottle. They offer a carefully curated range of Cognacs, each impressively aged and brimming with authenticity. Domaine des Tonneaux is committed to maintaining the natural purity of their Cognacs, which are free from any added coloring, sugar, or additives. A standout in their collection is the Brut de Fut, a remarkable Cognac over 40 years old that spans three generations—from grandfather, to father, to son—capturing the essence and history of the family's craftsmanship.

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Our visit at Domaine des Tonneaux

It’s no secret that we love roaming around the Cognac region, spanning all of Cognac’s crus, looking for new and interesting small Cognac producers. This year has already seen some wonderful discoveries come our way, such as Domaine Grateaud on the plateau of the Borderies and Chateau d’Orignac out west in the Fins Bois. And now we have another from the prime heart of the Petite Champagne cru: Domaine des Tonneaux. Details will follow in the paragraphs below, but everything we saw and experienced when stopping by the domaine makes us smile.

  • Genuine, nice people running all production aspects from A to Z on site
  • An unfailing generosity and authenticity
  • A small but true range of immensely authentic Cognac - with impressive ages!
  • A commitment to pure natural expressions of Cognac: no coloring, no sugar, no additives. Yes!
  • And a surprising 40+ year old Brut de Fut which spans three generations of eau-de-vie, from grandfather to father to son.

There is so much to like here with these Domaine des Tonneaux. The domaine itself and the people that run it go along about their business with humility and a quiet confidence that they are doing everything they can to put the best possible Cognac into bottle to be smelled, tasted, and discussed by Cognac and spirits lovers.

The Domaine

The Domaine des Tonneaux, which today is helmed by Laurent Lassalle, is a family-operated estate in Jarnac Champagne producing Pineau des Charentes and of course - Cognac. Laurent represents the 6th generation to run the domaine and has nearly forty years of experience on-site handling production from A to Z. Moreover, various artisanally made oils and confectionaries, and even truffle harvesting when the season permits, are also carefully offered by the estate. Lastly, there is a welcoming bed and breakfast, providing guests with a unique experience of rural Charente hospitality.

Vines & Terroir

Located in Jarnac Champagne, in the very heart of the Petite Champagne cru, Domaine des Tonneaux spans a modest 8 hectares of vines. Interestingly, Laurent has strategically reduced the vineyard size to these 8 hectares to enhance vine management and improve the overall quality of the wines and consequently, the Cognac. This is a remarkable move: when so many others are seeking to add hectares and expand production capacity at all costs, Laurent is scaling down, putting quality first, quality he feels that comes with having a vineyard more manageable in terms of hectares. The domaine has adopted environmentally friendly practices, notably abstaining from using weed killers for a considerable amount of years now. This shift has fostered richer biodiversity and healthier vine life within their plots, which ultimately leads to healthier grapes and better wine. The terroir is that of textbook classic Petite Champagne: limestone and chalk-rich soils so common between Jarnac Champagne and Archiac. Vines are primarily planted to Ugni Blanc grapes, with a tiny amount of Colombard. Recently, the vineyard faced harsh climate challenges, including being ravaged by hail for two consecutive years, leading to minimal grape yield - basically none - and an anticipated gap in Cognac production from those years. This is an unfortunate reality many Cognac producers are faced with in the Cognac region.

Distillation & Chai

Laurent personally oversees the distillation of his entire production at Domaine des Tonneaux, utilizing a traditional alambic charentais that he operates entirely without computerization or automation. He controls and adjusts his alambic by hand and relies on his nose to ensure the quality of the eau-de-vie. Some of his eau-de-vie is sold to Remy Martin, the only large house he works with.

The chai, housed in a building dating back to 1850 with thick stone walls, maintains a consistent temperature around 13.5°C year-round, providing a temperate environment for the aging process - neither humid or dry, somewhere in between. Laurent uses Tronçais oak barrels with medium toasting and varies the use of new oak depending on the intended age of the Cognac. That is, younger Cognacs spend approximately two years in new oak before transitioning to older barrels, while older Cognacs have minimal contact with new oak since they will spend decades aging in oak before seeing the light of day. Laurent constantly tastes in the chai to determine the perfect aging time in barrels, aiming to prevent the Cognac from becoming overly tannic due to prolonged exposure to young oak. His commitment to quality is evident as he regularly checks each barrel to ensure optimal development of the Cognacs.

The Cognacs

The Cognac range at Domaine des Tonneaux aims for purity; no sugar, boisé, or coloring is added, making these Cognacs true representations of the Petite Champagne cru. The range includes four Cognacs.

The Flamgnanco Cognac VSOP, aged for 5 years, is typically enjoyed as an aperitif, either on ice or with tonic water. The Réserve du Viticulteur XO has matured for 20 years, while the Tres Vieille Reserve XO boasts an impressive 35-year maturation.

The most exclusive in the lineup is the Brut de Fût 635, a 40+ year-old XO with a limited production of 635 bottles, each numbered and signed. This particular Cognac features a unique three-generational blend of eaux-de-vie: a 1967 distillate from Laurent’s grandfather, a 1973 from his father, and a 1985 from Laurent himself, which actually was his very first distillation. The Brut de Fût 635 is bottled at a robust 45% alcohol by volume without any dilution or additives, preserving its full, authentic strength. So while a blend of three eau-de-vie which span three generations, the Cognac is bottled at its cask strength.

Domaine des Tonneaux 635 Brut de Fût Cognac

Domaine+des+Tonneaux+635+Brut+de+F%C3%BBt+Cognac

Domaine des Tonneaux 635 Brut de Fût Cognac

$ 299
excl. TAX excl. shipping
Cognac age
Hors d'Age
Growth area
Petite Champagne
Bottle size
500ml
ABV
45%
Additional Info
No additives
Additional Info
40+ year old Brut de Fut
Tasting review
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Eye: Stunning golden color.

Nose: Rich aromas of vanilla, caramel, and candied fruits.

Palate: Exquisite finesse with rounded flavors of vanilla, deep caramel, and a bouquet of confit fruits.

Finish: The experience lingers.

Please note: Sorry, Laurent was on a tractor in the vines and couldn’t send a better product image.

Product description
Domaine des Tonneaux 635 Brut de Fût Cognac Immerse yourself in the legacy of the Domaine des Tonneaux 635 Brut de Fût Cognac, a very limited edition spirit that has matured for over 40 years in limestone cellars. With an alcohol content of 45%, this Cognac is a true representation of three generations of distillers' dedication—spanning from Laurent's grandfather, his father, to Laurent himself—each contributing to its evolution into a nearly perfect elixir. The '635' is not just a drink...

Read more about Domaine des Tonneaux 635 Brut de Fût Cognac

Domaine des Tonneaux Très Vieille Réserve XO Cognac

Domaine+des+Tonneaux+Tr%C3%A8s+Vieille+R%C3%A9serve+XO+Cognac

Domaine des Tonneaux Très Vieille Réserve XO Cognac

$ 102
excl. TAX excl. shipping
Cognac age
XO
Growth area
Petite Champagne
Bottle size
700ml
ABV
40%
Additional Info
35 years old
Additional Info
No additives
Tasting review
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Eye: Rich golden hue.

Nose: Aromatic blend of caramel, spices, and a distinct woodiness.

Palate: Elegant and refined, showcasing a harmony of deep, warm, and powerful flavors.

Finish: Exceptionally long, leaving a lingering sense of contemplation.

Product description
Domaine des Tonneaux Très Vieille Réserve Cognac Introducing the Domaine des Tonneaux Très Vieille Réserve Cognac, a prestigious 35-year-old Très Vieille Réserve that embodies the pinnacle of elegance from the Domaine's collection. This very old Cognac, aged in oak barrels and boasting an alcohol content of 40%, is the product of refined sophistication. Now available in both 50cl and 70cl decanters, it has been cherished, tasted, and perfected across two generations, resulting in a cresce...

Read more about Domaine des Tonneaux Très Vieille Réserve XO Cognac

Domaine des Tonneaux XO Réserve du Viticulteur Cognac

Domaine+des+Tonneaux+XO+R%C3%A9serve+du+Viticulteur+Cognac

Domaine des Tonneaux XO Réserve du Viticulteur Cognac

$ 79
excl. TAX excl. shipping
Cognac age
XO
Growth area
Petite Champagne
Bottle size
700ml
ABV
40%
Additional Info
No additives
Additional Info
20 years old
Tasting review
Show more Show less
Eye: Deep amber.

Nose: A rich tapestry of dried vine shoots, hinting at a floral bouquet to come.

Palate: A harmonious blend of dry yet tender nuances, with a smooth yet robust texture, unveiling layers of narcissus, hyacinth, and iris.

Finish: Retains only the finest elements of a grand cuvée, leaving a lasting impression.

Product description
Domaine des Tonneaux XO Réserve du Viticulteur Cognac Embark on a sensory journey with Domaine des Tonneaux Réserve du Viticulteur Cognac, a 20-year-old XO Cognac meticulously crafted to embody the spirit of the artisan distiller. At 40% alcohol by volume, this Cognac stands as a product of the daily dedication and concentration required to capture the essence of the distiller's character in a bottle—dry yet tender, raw yet mellow. Its renewed presentation in a sleek, refined bottle furthe...

Read more about Domaine des Tonneaux XO Réserve du Viticulteur Cognac

Conclusion

What a find! There is nothing grandiose, or bling, or over the top here. There is a simplicity and authenticity that just begs to attract those who are looking for this kind of thing in a Cognac producer. The Cognac range is easy to understand and features very interesting ages, all showcasing what the Petite Champagne is capable of at advanced ages.

And the Brut de Fut 635 is a treat as rare as it is good. Sure, we’re seeing more and more Brut de Fut Cognacs from the recent surge in independent bottlings in Cognac, but actual Brut de Fut Cognacs direct from a tiny producer with 8 hectares of vines is undoubtedly an exception and not the norm.

Bravo Domaine des Tonneaux. We could not be happier to have your house on board.

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