You could consider Jacky Navarre, fourth generation distiller of Cognac Navarre, to be one of the last remaining “purists” of his kind. Distilling from the eleven-acre estate in Gondeville of the Grande Champagne, he hand-harvests his fruit - a true artisanal method that is nowadays rare to find. This ancient Cognac house crafts truly traditional Cognac, with an average of 40-50 years for one blend alone. Amazingly, the Cognacs that emerge from this house have no water added - the barrels are oxidized over a long period by the humidity of the cellar alone. The result is a Cognac of unrivaled quality, aroma and depth. His rule is simple - “let nature do most of the work” and the rest will come.
Jacky Navarre is somewhat of a magician distiller. He distills on the lees in his 30 hectoliter Charentais pot still, adding no sugar, no boisé (concentrated wood chips), caramel coloring nor water. Yes, he allows his Cognacs to reach 45% proof by natural evaporation alone. There is nothing else like it on the market.
His estate in the Grande Champagne grows primarily Ugni Blanc grapes, and some of his brandies reach up to 50 years in age. He also grows 6% of Folle Blanche (for his own research purposes), 6% of Colombard, 32 acres of Merlot and 23 acres of Cabernet Franc.
With just four products in his line including one “Vieille Reserve” cognac, two Pineaux des Charentes and an unknown fourth - this is a Cognac producer like no other.