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Pasquet "L'Esprit de Famille" Le Cognac de Noel

Highly Recommended 87 /100

see 4 reviews

Growth area
Petite Champagne
Bottle size
500ml
ABV
46,4%
Grape Varieties
Ugni Blanc
Distilled in
1994

Taylor C.

Reviews written: 33 (see reviews)

Average Score given: 86

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

Bio:

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'Esprit de Famille, Le Cognac de Noel

Highly Recommended 87 /100

Nose: The nose is tight initially. A little time in the glass is all that is needed for things to wake up. Wow, with each passing minute it seems as if the aromas gain more clarity and come into sharper and sharper focus. The smells are certainly spice-loaded but not abrasive. Think of an assorted autumn spice mix. Additionally, there is an underlying smell of sweet speculoos cream and honeyed pain d’epices. I also smell a faint trace of fragrant sawdust, not a note I smell often but I assure you it’s quite pleasant. Underneath the upfront spices and dessert smells, there’s a bright streak lurking. I cannot determine if it’s blood orange, mandarin orange, yellow plum, or some other acidic fruit, but it’s there and adds freshness and vivacity to the whole aromatic package.

To be sure, this is a lovely nose that picks up steam with some time in the glass. Please, do not rush this glass.

Palate: Yes, I’m loving the tension on the palate. There is an impression of roundness and richness, and the Cognac is both of those, but there is an underlying verve driving everything forward. The Cognac is fresh, dry, and mouth watering. I received a similar sensation when recently tasting the Vallein Tercinier Fins Bois Lot 96. My mouth is literally watering after tasting this Cognac de Noel. The spices are there for sure, and I confirm they are completely unobtrusive. There is a taste of moist honeyed pain d’epices.

The flavors are so agreeable, so easy to get along with. The tug of war between the flavor richness and the “vif” (a French word for lively) mouthfeel is fantastic.

Finish: There is good length to the finish, but the flavors are not eternal - nor should they be. As soon as the sweet spice flavors faded away, I was more than ready to smell it and taste it again. For my palate at least, there was not an ounce of bitterness, no astringence, and no rusticity. Of course, give this Cognac some time in the glass, but once it’s up to speed, don’t be surprised if your glass diminishes at an alarming rate.

Tags

  • Cinnamon
  • Gingerbread
  • Honey
  • Nutmeg
  • Orange
  • Prune
  • Spices

Flavour

Wood 5/10

Spice 7/10

Fruit 6/10

Flower 4/10

Bottle / Package Design 4/5

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

Value for Money 5/5

Overpriced Low Average Bargain Steal

Tasting

Nose

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.

22/25

Mouth

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?

17/20

Taste

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?

23/25

Finish

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?

17/20

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?

8/10

Total: 87/100

  • 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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