Appellation (Cru) & sol: Grande Champagne
Ragnaud Sabourin Reserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac: a Premier Cru Gem
Produced entirely from Grande Champagne Ugni Blanc grapes and matured for at least two decades, Ragnaud Sabourin Reserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac is a Cognac of exceptional complexity and finesse. Like all Cognacs from this esteemed house, the grapes for this expression were harvested on the Domaine de la Voute vineyard, making it a single estate bottling. The number codes on the bottles point to the age of the liquid inside; hence, the ‘20’ used here indicates that the youngest eaux-de-vie in the blend has been aged for at least 20 years.
The Ragnaud-Sabourin estate was founded in 1850 by Gaston Briand and his son-in-law Marcel Ragnaud. Today, Annie Ragnaud-Sabourin and her son Olivier carry on the family expertise, focusing exclusively on eaux-de-vie produced from their own vines. Sitting on a hill outside the village of Ambleville in the south of Grande Champagne, this wonderful estate may be small, but it is also one of the most prominent houses in Cognac, selling fine eaux-de-vie to a range of larger companies. However, they always make sure to keep the majority for themselves, which is why the House of Ragnaud-Sabourin boasts unusually large stocks of old Cognac - some of which predate the phylloxera epidemic. As a result, they are able to offer a wide selection of high-end releases.
Few houses dedicate themselves to such a long-term view on their production, but the Ragnaud-Sabourin family know how to plan ahead. The present stocks kept in their cellars represent around fifteen years of future sales - a long-term investment, but always worth the wait.
Presentation of the Bottle
The Ragnaud Sabourin Reserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac comes in a classically elegant slim bottle, with a vintage-style label featuring calligraphy text.
How to Enjoy Ragnaud Sabourin Reserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac
Such a quality Cognac deserves time and attention. The complex fruit notes make it the perfect accompaniment to a candlelit dinner; serve this Cognac neat in tulip glasses at room temperature as a digestif and sip late into the winter night.
This bottle did not meet expectations
It is unfortunate that the bouquet of this particular bottle of Ragnaud Sabourin Reserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac does not meet expectations of its claimed aging of a 20 year old blend and falls rather flat with just a bit of woody notes. Its palate's intensity picks up a notch after the third or fourth sip yet does not improve notably. Beyond an overwhelming palate's burn I was unable to decipher distinct hints. Its finish is the best trait of a Grande Champagne cognac for it stays and leaves an in crescendo sense yearning for a more delightful bouquet and palate.
This bottle did not meet expectations, but I would give Ragnaud Sabourin Reserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac another chance
À propos de Ragnaud Sabourin Cognac
A prestigious family-run estate with a history dating back to 1850, the cognac house of Ragnaud Sabourin are known for their blends and single vintages produced from only the 1er cru region of the Grande Champagne. Priding themselves at keeping firmly to family and tradition, even their employers and clients span the generations. The estate produces a complete range of cognacs, from a VS through to single year vintages, and Cognac Ragnaud Sabourin embrace the past, present and future to create cognacs of exceptional quality.
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