Growth area & soil: Grande Champagne
Frapin VSOP Cognac, the Quintessential Premier Cru blend
The Frapin VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac has been crafted from Ugni Blanc grapes grown across the chalky hills of the Grande Champagne terroir. Distilled on the lees for a longer finish, this Premier Cru Cognac has been aged at the Frapin estate for over four years in Limousin oak, bringing out a wonderful roundness and suppleness in the blend.
Initially a family of winegrowers, the Frapin family have been settled in south-west France since the 13th Century. After taking up the craft of distillation, they have kept up production of eaux-de-vie for a staggering 20 generations, and the current head of the company is a direct descendant of the founder. The family’s established headquarters is at the charming Château de Fontpinot, nestled among their vineyards in the heart of Grande Champagne.
Today, Frapin Cognacs are entirely harvested, distilled and aged at the Domaine and the family are fiercely proud of their single-estate status. The House of Frapin control every aspect of production and eschew scientific methods, instead relying on age-old traditions - as well as the extraordinary palate of their Cellar Master, Patrice Piveteau.
Presentation of the bottle
The Frapin VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac is presented in an elegant decanter somewhat reminiscent of the shape of a charentais copper still. It’s finished with a sleek black label, black foil seal and matching gift box.
How to Enjoy Frapin VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
To truly appreciate this Cognac, we recommend sipping it neat from a tulip glass at room temperature. A small lump of ice can be added if desired.
“The quintessential expression of the Frapin style. A Cognac that can combine with anything at any time, as an aperitif, during a meal or after dinner.” - Patrice Piveteau, Cellar Master
Over the past several weeks, I've embarked on a tasting program of VSOP, Napoleon, and XO Cognacs. To that end, I have tasted 4 different VSOP Cognacs, 2 Napoleon, and 2 XO Cognac bottles. Of those tasted, the Frapin VSOP is in a virtual first place tie with the Daniel Boujou on a point basis. The Boujou may have a slight edge in nose, but the Frapin suits my palate a bit better. In reality it depends on an individual's personal preferences. I happen to enjoy the palate of the Frapin, as it has excellent nutty tones that I appreciate, with a very smooth initial taste when it hits my tongue. The flavors round out to a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon before swallowing. The finish is very smooth and enjoyable with a nutlike rather than vanilla finish. By way of comparison, I included Courvoisier and Hennessy in the VSOP tastings, both of which are also excellent. Of these 4, I would rate the Frapin as #1 on the palate, and in a virtual tie with any of the others w/r to value received.
About Frapin Cognac
The Frapin family has been around the Southwest of France since 1270. Always active in the domain of winegrowing, they specialized in distillation much later on and have since continued to stand strong throughout twenty generations! The estate owns 300 hectares of land entirely in the Grande Champagne area, of which 200 are planted with vines. Frapin’s home in the beautiful caste Fontpinot in the town of Segonzac. The most famous family member was the 16th century author Francois Rabelais, after whom a prestigious Frapin cognac bottle is named: The Cuvee Rabelais. Like some other cognac houses, Frapin needs to extend business through diversifying into other luxury products such as chocolate or coffee. Frapin was the first cognac producer to invent a multi-vintage blend, combining vintages of different years to create the perfect taste.
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