L'ESSENTIEL A45 Marancheville

Exceptional 91 /100

see 9 reviews

Taylor C.

Reviews written: 41 (see reviews)

Average Score given: 86

Review Overview: Best & Most rated, All Reviewers & Reviews


French wine, and the concept of terroir, captured my interest early on. Naturally, curiosity took me to spirits, in particular Cognac. Today I'm proud to be a member of the Cognac Expert team managing B2B projects, working on Cognac Expert Originals, and writing bottle reviews for the English Blog. I love to taste anything and everything - rum/rhum, whisky(ey), Armagnac, etc. - but no other spirit grabs my attention quite like Cognac, and all of its subtleties and nuance. Santé !

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L'ESSENTIEL A45 Marancheville

Exceptional 92 /100

Nose: The nose is a crystal clear and clean nose. It smells as only a mature Grande Champagne can smell. My nose picks up orange marmalade (confiture orange amère in French), stewed yellow peaches, slice of juicy ripe fresh mango - so a healthy does of fruit, but I struggle to determine if the fruit is more fresh fruit or more candied fruit. Then come the non-fruit notes: leather and sandalwood essential oil, clean fragrant sweet woods. There is a nice warming spice mix too. There seems to be an interesting tug of war between maturity and freshness, with freshness having the upper hand. This is surprising given the age of the Cognac. After a good amount of air time, a creamy chocolate note appears.

Palate: The first impression in the mouth is that the Cognac is chiseled and fresh. It's undoubtedly a mature Cognac but with a youthfulness that remains intact. Mouth-filling. There is a good balance between fruit, wood, and spice - creating an enhanced feeling of complexity. In the mouth the fruit seems more candied: orange marmalade, peach candy (Jolly Rancher), apricot jam. The oak impact of the three 60L casks is noticeable, but the fruit notes and fresh personality prevent the Cognac from having too strong of an oak signature. There is a nice dose of spices that lift everything and add to the complexity of the Cognac.

Finish: Very clean and direct. Persistent. The finish is driven by spices and soft earthy wood notes. There is a closing note of menthol. It's a very easy and pleasant Cognac to taste.

Having been able to taste Marancheville's XO and Lot N°14/45, I can say that this fits nicely between the two but with some similar personality traits - let's call it a Marancheville DNA. I'm struck at how the Cognac dances the delicate dance between maturity and freshness. That is, one knows he or she is smelling and tasting something quite old, but some of the aromas and flavors of youth remain perfectly intact. The Grande Champagne does this so well with age.

And, in case there is any fear that the 60L casks exerted themselves too much, it really just does not turn out to be the case. Fun Cognac and a welcome addition to the range.


  • Cedar
  • Chocolate
  • Mango
  • Menthol
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Spices


Wood 6/10

Spice 6/10

Fruit 7/10

Flower 2/10

Bottle / Package Design 4/5

Where is the Love? Ordinary Nice Beautiful A sight to be seen!

Value for Money 4/5

Overpriced Low Average Bargain Steal



What aromas do you get when you sniff the Cognac? Do you get hints of fruits or flowers - perhaps it's sweet? Is it intense or rather flat - and most importantly, is the nose coherent to taste and finish? The nose is the most important part when tasting Cognac.



A small sip: Allow your taste buds in the various areas of your mouth to distinguish the different flavours. This part of cognac tasting is described as ‘the palate’. Don’t just swallow it down; allow the liquid to touch all the regions of the mouth. Doing this is necessary as the taste buds pick up contrasting flavours in the different areas of the mouth; on the tip of your tongue to the sides, for example. Take a tiny sip to prep your palate for the sensory experience to come. Take a second larger sip, and gently roll the cognac around, etting it come into contact with every corner of your mouth. Focus on the perceived textural sensations. Are the sensations round and rich or fresh and elegant? Is the overall mouthfeel intense, balanced, disjointed, or lacking presence? In short, how does the cognac feel in your mouth?



Quite simply, what do you taste as you gently roll the cognac around in your mouth? Pay close attention to any flavors of fruits, flowers, oak, and spices - or a complex combination of those elements. Are the flavors cohesive with the Nose and the Mouth, giving a sense of balance and complexity?



The ‘finish’ is the experience you get after you’ve swallowed the cognac. What flavours can you detect? Is it a flat or rough finish and rather sharp, or is it a slight 'punch' you like? How long does the finish last? Also think about overall balance: How does the finish compare to nose and taste?


Overall Impression

Consider the Nose, Mouth, Taste, and Finish simultaneously - the cognac as a whole. Is there cohesion between the four categories, or does the cognac shine in some areas and appear dull in others? Quite simply, is the memory from the tasting experience one that will last your lifetime; is the memory good but nothing extraordinary; or is the cognac’s impact entirely forgettable?


Total: 92/100

  • 80-84: Recommended
  • 85-89: Highly Recommended
  • 90-95: Exceptional
  • 96-100: Superlative
Flat Acceptable Fine Excellent Ethereal Thin & weak Disjointed Balanced Exquisite Bland Ordinary Good Excellent Spectacular Non-existent, or rough Acceptable Good Memorable Endless Uninspiring, or rough Ordinary Good Excellent Memorable
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