Discover a Hidden Gem
Cognac House Martinaud
We are excited to present four Cognacs from a hidden house that has captured our hearts. The mesmerizing Cognac House Martinaud is exactly the kind of small family houses we want to bring to your attention: Protecting Cognac's Diversity!
We were fortunate to uncover two incredible value-for-money old Cognacs: A Cognac from the 1950s and another Cognac form the 1960s – truly a remarkable, well matured find! We are delighted to share this hidden treasure with you. This remarkable family-operated estate, now in its eighth generation, has been skillfully producing exceptional Cognacs since 1847, all while upholding Cognac's diversity and adopting eco-friendly practices.
The Martinaud family's commitment to safeguarding Cognac's rich heritage and flavors is precisely the type of producer we adore. Each bottle showcases the craftsmanship of a distinct generation, weaving a unique narrative that connects us to their enduring legacy.
About Martinaud's History & Family
Cognac House Martinaud is a family-run business, currently in its eighth generation, founded in 1847. The estate is located in Chantillac, Charente, which is situated halfway between the cities of Angoulême and Bordeaux, just off the N10 national highway. The 30-hectare estate comprises vineyards distributed across four different crus: Fins Bois, Bons Bois, Petite Champagne, and Grande Champagne.
During our visit, we learned about the rich history of the Martinaud family, who have been producing exceptional Cognacs since 1847. Generations of winemakers and distillers have passed on their expertise to their successors, and today, Michel, Véronique, and Pierre-Alain carry on the family's legacy, working together on the estate's vineyards.
Pierre-Alain mentions that today’s Cognacs and pineaux will be enjoyed by their children and grandchildren in the future. The “XO Héritage” Cognac, for example, comes from his father’s first harvest in the 1960s. Currently, Michel, Véronique, and Pierre-Alain work on the estate’s 30 hectares of vineyards.
Martinaud specializes in producing Cognac, Pineau des Charentes, and liqueurs. Their Pineau des Charentes has two distinct styles: the white, which has notes of honey and spiced bread, and the red, characterized by hints of cherry. Both styles are aged for a minimum of five years, which is longer than the standard 2-3 years.
In addition to the Pineau des Charentes, Martinaud creates artisanal liqueurs that contain 25% alcohol by volume. These liqueurs offer refreshing flavors, such as mint, and are crafted without artificial additives, providing a more natural and authentic taste.
The Cognac house produces four different Cognacs, each representing a different generation’s production. The range starts with the youngest, the VSOP, intended for aperitifs. The Napoléon is from the 1990s and showcases the current owner’s father’s production. The XO Héritage comes from the 1960s, reflecting the owner’s grandfather’s production and featuring Fins Bois eaux-de-vie.
Lastly, the XO Supreme represents the oldest production, dating back to the 1950s, and is made from grapes grown on one hectare of land. Martinaud is committed to environmental responsibility and has been certified with the High Environmental Value Level 3 (HVE 3), the most demanding level of the certification. This certification highlights the estate’s dedication to sustainable and eco-friendly practices.
Martinaud XO Heritage Cognac
Martinaud XO Heritage Cognac
Cognac Age: XO Cognac - distilled in 1962 and 1963
Growth Area: Fins Bois
Bottle Size: 70cl
A beautifully mature Fins Bois Cognac, this XO Heritage from Maison Martinaud presents a sumptuous blend of vintage eau-de-vie selected from the years 1962 and 1963. Upon tasting this offering, you’ll be transported to the cellar master’s chai, where he worked passionately in the calm and semi-darkness. You will appreciate all its nobility and finesse due to a remarkable "rancio": the result of its long aging process, which saw the eaux-de-vie come into contact with the air and the wood.
This “XO Héritage” Cognac comes from Pierre-Alain father’s first harvest in the 1960s.
Martinaud XO Heritage
Taylor's tasting notes
Nose: Maturity, rancio. Exotic candied fruits. Sweet earthy peach, trace of caramel, nut and spice mix, fragrant sandalwood.
Palate: The intensity of flavor that only time can deliver! Rancio. Exotic fruits: mango, guava, papaya. Ripe melon. Sweet tinned peaches in syrup. An earthy somewhat dirty side that adds intrigue. Nice texture. This is an intensely flavored Cognac, despite not being an intense spirit itself. Mature.
Finish: Medium. No tannins. No bitterness. Finishes on the exotic fruit flavors and those previously mentioned mature notes that only old Cognacs can bring. Lovely Fins Bois!
Martinaud XO Surpreme Cognac
Grande Fine Champagne
Cognac Age: XO Cognac - distilled in 1955, 1956, and 1957
Growth Area: Grande Fine Champagne
Bottle Size: 70cl
Martinaud XO Surpreme Tres Vieux Cognac is a luxurious spirit that has been aged to perfection. It comes from a unique and exceptional batch, distilled in the 1950s: the years 1955, 1956 and 1957. The result is a complex and elegant spirit with a deep amber color that is full of character. The aroma is packed with notes of mature fruits and spices, while the taste is smooth with a hint of sweetness and a long, complex finish.
Martinaud Tres Vieux XO Surpreme
Taylor's tasting notes
Nose: Refined. Quite Grande Champagne in its profile. Maturity and rancio, with an extra dose of elegance. Pristine fruits: mango, apricot, peach - not fresh but rather stewed verging on candied. Perfume. Touch of tobacco and leather. Freshly polished cedarwood antique furniture. Contemplative!
Palate: Same great flavor intensity as the Heritage, but more refined and elegant. Maturity and rancio. Perfectly intact and pristine fruits intermingled with the non-fruit notes like leather and cedar furniture. Melted and harmonious - individual flavors are tricky to discern since they are all so well integrated. Absence of earthiness. Fragrant wood notes. Preserved peaches.
Finish: Long. Persistent. Refined. No edges or corners. No tannic bite. No bitter notes. On the exotic fruits and preserved peaches. Lasting notes of rancio once swallowed.
During our stay, we were treated to some delectable recipes that showcased Martinaud's products, such as prawn skewers with Pineau des Charentes caramel, a refreshing summer ratatouille salad with Pineau des Charentes granita, and a rich red pepper soup with goat cheese and Pineau des Charentes.
Holiday Rental: Gîte Le Bignac
We also had the opportunity to experience Gîte Le Bignac, a comfortable holiday rental located on the Martinaud estate. The single-level house features a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a separate toilet. The property offers a terrace with a countryside view and a 300-square-meter private garden. Guests have access to shared facilities with the owners, including a swimming pool, covered terrace, table tennis, and adult bicycles. The gîte can accommodate up to 5 people, provides baby equipment, and offers Wi-Fi for a convenient and enjoyable stay.