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Ragnaud Sabourin XXO Cognac

Exceptional 90 /100

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Cognac age
XXO
Growth area
Grande Champagne
Bottle size
700ml
ABV
40%
Grape Varieties
Ugni Blanc
Grape Varieties
Folle Blanche

Taylor C.

Reviews written: 36 (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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Ragnaud Sabourin XXO Cognac

Exceptional 90 /100

Nose: On first pour there is a sharp spirit note. This suggests a youthful freshness, despite the fact that this is not a young Cognac. With air, the spirity note blows off and is replaced by a pretty florality and soft fruit candies. Sweet citrus. Fresh cake with a high quality icing or glaze; there is a seemingly really nice natural sweetness on the nose. As mentioned above, more air means more fruit notes: mirabelles, golden raisins, greengages (Reine Claude plums) all in syrup. Light honey. Light spices. In short, a pretty nose with a delicate profile, not a chest thumper. Very inviting and accessible. And I must say, this Cognac transforms with time in the glass. Fun!

Palate: Nothing prepared me for the soft gentle texture. It's unmistakable and nicely contrasts the sharper notes on the nose upon first pour. There is not a single hard edge to be found in this Cognac. There is indeed a very pure natural sweetness. Acacia honey. Marzipan. Gentle spices and a nice cakey note, still with that nice quality icing. Fruits in syrup: golden raisins, mirabelles, greengages, white grapes. Faint creamy vanilla.

Perhaps I am affected by knowledge that there is a decent portion of folle blanche in this blend. Could that be what contributes this pretty delicate aroma and flavor profile? Could this be what creates the soft texture? It must be said that this Cognac needs at least 20 minutes in the glass. The wait is rewarding. If this Cognac is rushed in the glass, the experience will be diminished. No rushing this please.

Also note this Cognac is not a ultra mature rancio bomb. There are elements of maturity just as their are elements of youth. It is balanced and complex in its own way. And overall it is very inviting accessible Cognac. Very easy to get along with. Again, as the minutes go by, the fruits appears in waves.

Finish: Intense in flavor but still gentle in sensation. Zero aggressiveness. No rusticity (I often like rustic). Flavors slowly fade out demanding another smell and taste. Finishes on these soft naturally sweet fruit notes.

Tags

  • Candied Fruit
  • Floral
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Prune
  • Raisin
  • Spices
  • Vanilla

Flavour

Wood 4/10

Spice 5/10

Fruit 7/10

Flower 7/10

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?

20/20

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?

22/25

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?

9/10

Total: 90/100

  • 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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