Marancheville Tres Rare Lot N°14/45
Grande Champagne Cognac
Rare Lot N°14/45
Growth Area: Grande Champagne
Cognac Expert is honored to present this historic Cognac from the House of Marancheville, a unique blend of eaux-de-vie from the notable years of 1914 and 1945. Marancheville is a producer known for its class and excellence, yet also for its endearing humility and so it is with great pride that we can present to you the world premiere of its latest and limited offering, Marancheville 14/45.
This exceptionally old Cognac from Marancheville was created using a blend of rare eaux-de-vie from a family heritage treasure. The years 1914 and 1945, from which the eaux-de-vie originates, mark the beginning and the end of the only two World Wars the world has ever experienced, and so this Cognac captures such a significant period in history in its aromas and flavors. By taking a closer look at these two momentous years and how they impacted the Cognac region, we can greater appreciate the eaux-de-vie and those who rose to the occasion so that we can enjoy them in this extremely special Grande Champagne blend today.
Vintage: 1914 / 1945
Bottle size: 70 cl
Color: Rich, red amber glow
Palate: The palate is uniquely aromatic, taking us to an incomparable taste universe and transporting us back through time.
Nose: Delicate and intriguing aromas of precious wood, wax and dried flower petals captivate the nose.
Growth Area: Grande Champagne
Breakfast of the soldiers in 1914. Credit Archives departenemtales de la Charente
The year 1914, and the beginning of the First World War, called for the mobilization of 3.7 million French men, who went to join the war effort at the start of August - just before the harvest. With 60 percent of the active male population assigned to combat, the fate of the harvest fell into the hands of agricultural women who also had to struggle with losing all the draught animals that had been requisitioned by the army. These incredible women came together in their efforts to maintain the vineyards, manage the harvest and produce the eaux-de-vie. The 1914 harvest turned out to be quite an exceptional one, and the eaux-de-vie from this year has come to be fondly known as ‘Ladies Vintage’.
1914 was the introduction to thirty years dominated by the struggles of war. Whilst there is no denying that these decades brought much pain and grief with them, they also allowed for a unique sense of companionship, growth, and drive to develop amongst communities. The eaux-de-vie from this year is a reminder of what can be achieved despite all odds being against us, and how when we come together, hope is not lost.
Generale de Gaulle 1945. Credit Archives departementales de la charente-maritimes
1945 saw the end of World War II and with it the end of the occupation of the Cognac region by the German military. Fortunately, a Nazi who was local to the region had been appointed as administrator of Cognac during the war. Lieutenant Gustav Klaebisch had a unique understanding and appreciation for Cognac as his father had run a Cognac house during the First World War and he himself had also worked at another. Klaebisch protected the Cognac stocks and production from his own troops who wanted to take over and consume it entirely.
The survival of Cognac production as we know it today can also be credited to the founder of one of the most prominent Cognac houses who worked with a well-known grower, Pierre Verneuil, to create the wine and eaux-de-vie distribution bureau in order to preserve Cognac stock. Without these three men, it is doubtful that the Marancheville 14/45 blend, or in fact many of the older spectacular blends from the Cognac brands we know and love, would exist today.
US Soldier drinking Cognac in Berchtesgaen in 1945
At the end of the war in 1945, the wine and eaux-de-vie distribution bureau became the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), Cognac’s governing body. The BNIC helped to hugely improve the relationship between growers and merchants and took over the role of deciding the price of new Cognacs from various crus. The year 1945 signifies not just the conclusion of a number of war-torn decades, but also the beginning of the golden years of increasing prosperity in the Cognac region and market.
The blend of these two consequential eaux-de-vie, represents the phoenix that can be born from the ashes of struggles. The significance and specialty of eaux-de-vie produced by women who stepped up to complete the harvest when their men were at war, combined with a blend from the year which marked the end of the war and the beginning of Cognac as we know it, cannot be underestimated. This is an incredibly rare and important Cognac, one that transports us through history and reminds us of how lucky we are to be enjoying its eaux-de-vie.