Growth area & soil: Petite Champagne
Prunier Vintage 1991 Petite Champagne Cognac: a Savory Sensation, Two Decades in the Making.
Prunier Vintage 1991 Petite Champagne Cognac is, quite simply, a masterpiece that's twenty years in the making. Ugni Blanc grapes were harvested on the rich soils of the Petite Champagne terroir back in 1991, after which the distilled eaux-de-vie were left to age in old oak casks for two decades before finally being bottled in 2011.
A limited edition of only 692 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 by one as an "outstanding vintage" of "concentrated fruit and spice", this is a perfect representation of Prunier's craftsmanship at work, celebrating the woody, nutty and smoky tones absorbed from the Limousin casks while still maintaining the fruity, floral touch that Petite Champagne is so famous for.
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 two decades, the 1991 Vintage Petite Champagne has a higher ABV of 51.5% and is therefore considered a natural cask strength Cognac.
Over the 20 years this Cognac has spent aging in Prunier's ‘Paradis’ cellar, the Prunier Vintage 1991 Petite Champagne Cognac has managed to reach optimum maturation, taking advantage of the humid conditions in order to fully 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 cascading bubbles trapped inside.
Each bottle is sealed with wax, replicating the strict process of sealing the demijohns to protect and prove the Cognac's vintage status. The 1989 Vintage Grande Champagne has a deep blue wax seal with parchment-colored and blue detailing on the body of the bottle. Each of the 692 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 1991 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 white chocolate pannacotta or salted caramel tart.