Growth area & soil: Grande Champagne
The Unfiltered Masterpiece: Navarre Vieille Réserve Cognac Navarre Cognac
Navarre is the producer on everybody’s lips - and with good reason. The Navarre Brut de Fût Vieille Réserve Grande Champagne Cognac is something of mastery. A blend of eaux-de-vie from the prestigious Premier Cru aged between 35 and 50 years old, it has undergone a particular process unlike most Cognacs: that is non-chill filtered, nor colored or boiséd. It is as it is, straight from the cask.
Jacky Navarre is a fourth generation distiller, and grows grapes on his eleven-acre estate in Gondeville. He is a master of distillation, and uses no water - he simply allows his Cognacs to reduce by natural evaporation.
This Vieille Réserve comes from the Grande Champagne, and has been distilled in his 30hl Charentais pot still. It is artisanal craft at its finest. The blend is made up of approximately 10% barrels from 1965, 40% from 1970-1975 and 50% 1978-1079. This is the real deal of Cognac prowess.
Navarre is one of the last purists of his kind, and the barrels are oxidized by the humidity of his cellar alone. Allowing nature to do the work, he produces Cognacs such as the Grande Champagne Vieille Reserve with an incredible depth of aromas, and undeniable rancio.
Presentation of the bottle
Bottled at its natural cask strength, which is 45% ABV. The bottle includes a wonderful illustration of the estate in Gondeville, and dark glass.
This Cognac didn't disappoint, superb smell, flavor and lasting finish.
A great Malternative!
Dark amber colour. A little bit of alcohol bite freshly poured, then a fine spicy nose with notes of cinnamon, cacao, tobacco, (dried) mushrooms and leather - superb rancio notes! On the palate dried fruits, also dried mushrooms, chocolate, cinnamon and cloves ending with fine tannins. The finish...
NOSE : Armagnac - rustic, French oak, tannins, but not a monster. (Not on the nose.) Refined rancio. Cassis / black currant. Unripe peaches. Marzipan. Soft vanilla. Banana. Lime and kiwis ( often present for me in older Cognacs, and always in Armagnac ). Strawberry note, raspberries, very ripe,...
Colour: Amber, gold lights. Heavy regular tears. Nose: Strong heady perfume at first. Nice mix on fresh and rancioted notes. Thyme, basil, bay leaf fighting with goat milk (yes, no joke) scents. Lingering herbs notes. It goes on honeyed nutty notes, like nougat and walnut sweets. “Sunny” shades...
The most complex taste
I purchased this cognac based on the reviews and although forewarned was blown away by the intensity of this chewy spirit. It is one of the most complex cognac's I have tasted with a strong start of wood and spice with a finish of leather and fruit. I agree with others that this is a raw cognac, not...
Fabulous, slightly more rustic alternative to Tesseron
I was looking for an alternative to Tesseron 53, which has doubled (at least) in price over the past decade or so. This was recommended on a few forums for similar reasons. Really big body, carries many of the caramel, nut, and spice flavours of Tesseron... albeit with a touch less refinement in...
About Navarre Cognac
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.
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