Growth area & soil: Petite Champagne
Prunier Vintage 1980 Petite Champagne Cognac: Three Decades in the Making
Prunier Vintage 1980 Petite 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 Petite Champagne terroir back in 1980, the distilled eaux-de-vie were then left to age in old oak casks for over three decades before finally being bottled in May 2011.
A limited edition of only 625 bottles, this rare Cognac from one half of the Fine Champagne cru - Petite Champagne - has gained momentum and popularity amongst connoisseurs thanks to its savory character and nutty, earthy tones that can only be achieved through a lengthy aging process.
Described as a "rich and complex sipping Cognac", the 1980 Petite Champagne Vintage is particularly savory, with dominating nutty notes on the nose and spices that permeate on the palate.
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 1980 Vintage Petite Champagne has a higher ABV of 54.8% and is therefore considered a natural cask strength Cognac.
The strict processes of aging, distillation and bottling have all taken place in a bonded warehouse in order to ensure authenticity, with Prunier's attention to detail stretching to every single step of production.
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 1980 Vintage Grande Champagne boasts a purple wax seal with parchment-colored and violet detailing on the body of the bottle. Each of the 625 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 Vintage 1980 Petite 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 nutty 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. Its earthy tones would also contrast well with a sweet dessert, perhaps a salted caramel tart or white chocolate and raspberry mousse. It could also be paired with a dark chocolate soufflé, the bitter notes of cocoa would be enhanced by the vintage’s subtle spice.
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