Growth area & soil: Grande Champagne
Prunier Vintage 1978 Grande Champagne Cognac: Premier Cru Perfection
Prunier Vintage 1978 Grande Champagne Cognac is not simply a celebration of a single cru, but a piece of history, a rich and earthy millésime to savor with every sip. Ugni Blanc grapes were harvested on the rich soils of the Grande Champagne terroir back in 1978 before the distilled eaux-de-vie were left to age in old oak casks for over three decades before finally being bottled in October 2015.
A limited edition of only 560 bottles, this rare Cognac from arguably the most reputable region - Grande Champagne - has gained momentum and popularity amongst connoisseurs thanks to its earthy tones of honey, leather and nutmeg.
The legal requirements to receive a vintage status are relatively strict and difficult to achieve for Cognac producers. The seal of a single year demijohn must only be broken by a sworn representative before being bottled, and therefore none of the Cognac stored inside can be touched, tasted or removed throughout the aging process.
Thanks to this natural method of allowing the Cognac to fully express itself, untouched by human hands for over three decades, the 1978 Vintage Grande Champagne has a higher ABV of 52% and is therefore considered a natural cask strength Cognac.
These intense aromatic expressions of leather and wax are not only due to the high quality of the Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie it contains, but also thanks to the 37 years this Cognac has spent aging in Prunier's Paradis cellar, taking advantage of the humid conditions in order to absorb the tannins from the oak barrels. Legend has it that there was once a river that flowed under the grounds of the estate, which is responsible for the cellar's unique atmosphere and contributes to the unparalleled taste of Prunier Cognacs.
Presentation of the Bottle
Prunier vintage bottles are inspired by a 19th-century design developed by the ancestors of current manager Claude Burnez. Each bottle is blown semi-manually by French artisans using traditional methods and therefore every single one is unique with its cascade of bubbles trapped inside.
Each bottle is also sealed with wax, replicating the strict process of sealing the demijohns to protect and prove the Cognac's vintage status. The 1978 Vintage Grande Champagne boasts a peach-colored wax seal with pale pink and parchment-style detailing on the body of the bottle. Each of the 560 limited editions has been individually numbered on the label.
The bottle comes with a stunning wooden box adorned with the Maison Prunier logo for display, storage or gifting purposes.
How to Enjoy Prunier 1978 Vintage Grande Champagne Cognac
As with many vintage Cognacs like this, it’s best to enjoy it neat, perhaps with friends or loved ones to celebrate a particular anniversary or birthday from this year.
Leave the Cognac for a few minutes once it’s poured into a traditional tulip glass, and make sure to swirl the glass in order to increase aeration, appreciate its earthy aromas and enjoy the plethora of flavors on the palate.
If you feel this vintage may be a little strong for your tastes, you're welcome to add a few drops of water. It makes a delightful digestif, especially when enjoyed alongside a cigar or an espresso. The honey aromas found in the vintage would pair particularly well with a lemon tart, with any sweetness being balanced and accentuated by its earthy notes of nutmeg and leather.
About Prunier Cognac
Steeped in tradition, Cognac Prunier is a family run firm with cellars in the heart of the town of Cognac. The house does not own its own vineyards, instead, they buy the eaux-de-vie directly from supplying vine growers and distillers each year, and then carry out the ageing process in their own cellars.
Read more about Prunier Cognac