Appellation (Cru) & sol: Bons Bois
20 years in the making: XO N°20 from the Domaine du Chêne
Located in the picturesque Bons Bois region of Cognac, the Domaine du Chêne is an authentic, traditional vineyard established in 1865. Their jewel in the crown, distilled by master blender Jean-Marie Bailiff, is their Jean Doussoux XO N°20 Cognac.
The Domaine itself is consistently striving for success, transmitting their tradition and authenticity into every Cognac they produce, and this specific XO, a 20-year-old Cognac made with 100% Ugni Blanc grapes, is the erudite embodiment of their production processes. Controlling everything on the site, from farming to distillation and bottling, they ensure high quality and unique products with every batch. With a name like Domaine du Chêne, it comes as no surprise that the Cognac is left to age in their cellars in traditional Limousin oak barrels, producing a depth of character that renders their Cognacs truly special.
This 20-year-old XO immediately produces aromas of woodlands, reminiscent of not only the rural region it originates from, but also skillfully crafted oak casks they mature in. The beautiful topaz, golden color of this Cognac serves as a reminder of not only its age, but its extravagance and the flavor profile held within. An exotic nose offering opulent aromas of chocolate, coffee and coconut, with a hint of dark fruits such as blackcurrant and even rancio bud.
When tasted, the Cognac holds a complex combination of flavors - fresh, fruit notes combine with warm, exotic spices - sandalwood, saffron, nutmeg and cinnamon prevail, an oriental adventure for the taste buds. Cocoa notes make a comeback on the palate with a sweet and mellow finish, all the while intertwining with the oak woody notes produced by the Cognac’s maturation.
As this Cognac is remarkably complex in its flavor profile, it is recommended to drink it neat at room temperature, appreciate its woody, coffee aromas after a meal as a delectable digestif.
To pair this Cognac with food, its rich flavors and warm spices make it a perfect accord with a gamey meal, such as roasted pigeon or veal. Perhaps even enjoy after dinner with a citrusy dessert, allowing the woody and chocolatey notes of the Cognac to counteract the tang of a tarte au citron or key lime pie.
Presentation of the Bottle
A simple yet elegant design, the focus is almost entirely on the ornate oak tree logo of the Domaine itself, its intricate design shows the amount of care and attention put into all aspects of the Jean Doussoux Cognac’s production and also highlights the importance put upon its 20-year maturation in French oak barrels.
An effective, clean design that will sit nicely alongside other Cognacs in your collection.
The Recommendation Tool works well
I purchased this XO spirit as I was curious about what the recommendation tool (on the cognac-expert website) found for me. This cognac was indicated to match my taste profile at 98%, and the algorithm certainly provided a suitable choice for me. I’ve tried XO versions of Camus, Hennessy, Martell & Remy Martin and I have to say the Domaine du Chene Jean Doussoux XO Single Cask fits me the best so far.
Upon nosing this cognac, I found a striking aroma of some exotic fresh fruit. Apart from that I can’t identify the specific hints of treats I like, but I’m sure the chocolate, cocoa, coffee & oak I chose for the tool to determine what works for me, is involved somehow.
On the palate, I found the flavours were coherent with what was sniffed. The texture was very creamy and had a suitable balance between a slight sweetness & tartiness for my liking.
The finish was of moderate length & continued with a taste consistent with the pleasant fruit nose & flavour.
I also think that the bottle’s presentation & the cognac’s colour added to my enjoyment of this exquisite spirit.
À propos de Domaine du Chene
Located at the heart of the Romanesque Saintonge province is Domaine du Chêne, which has remained a family estate for several generations since Jean-Baptiste Doussoux bought his first still in 1865.
The vineyard now covers 80 hectares growing several different grapes, including rare and old varieties like the Folle Blanche, among other classic varieties such as the Ugni Blanc.
The vineyards themselves are over 80 years old and today produce a range of bespoke products including their "Domaine du Chêne" range and Cognac "Jean Doussoux".
Read more about Domaine du Chene