Growth area & soil: Grande Champagne
8-year-old Paul Giraud Cognac VSOP: Precision and perfection
The Paul Giraud estate is well known for not only its premier cru eaux-de-vie, but equally its emphasis on traditional methods of production, from hand-picking the grapes to using traditional copper alembic stills for distillation.
The estate uses organic farming techniques, meaning there are no chemicals or pesticides in their eaux-de-vie, producing a purer, more authentic flavor profile and a distinctive depth of character. The Paul Giraud VSOP is a prime example of hard work paying off, a high quality VSOP with grapes grown in the Grande Champagne, and offering a sweet and smooth experience with every single sip.
The brand has won many an award as an independent winegrower, its estate is small, only 35 hectares, but mighty in terms of the intense flavors it produces. Not one to do things in half measures, much of the eaux-de-vie Paul Giraud has integrated into the blend is around 8 years old, which is double the legal minimum. These extra years lead to a maturity seldom found in a Cognac of this level.
During these 8 years, the VSOP is left in Limousin oak barrels in particularly humid cellars. Many Cognac connoisseurs agree that this sort of humidity can help intensify the flavors and aromas a Cognac can produce.
A predominantly sweet flavor profile means this is a very flexible VSOP, with aromas ranging from fresh grapes, caramel and candied apple with sweet and buttery notes on the palate. If you are looking for a rich Cognac with a complex flavor profile without wanting to splash out on an XO, this is the ideal purchase for those Cognac fans with a more refined palate.
On the nose, experience earthy and woody tones perfumed by warm baking spices and fresh grapes, upon the first sip you’ll be surprised by the smooth and creamy texture of this VSOP on the palate, offering sweeter notes of vanilla that give way to buttery caramel and honey in a light and elegant finish.
Paul Giraud VSOP Awards
- 2010 - Gold Medal at the Independent Winegrowers Contest
- 2009 - Gold Medal at the General Agricultural Competition
- 2009 - Silver Medal at the Independent Winegrowers Contest
How to Enjoy
Created solely from eaux-de-vie from the premier cru, Grande Champagne, you can enjoy this traditionally produced delight in a number of ways. It's delicious neat, perhaps in a balloon glass warmed gently in the hand in the time honored traditional manner.
However, it's also exceptional within a cocktail (perhaps a Brandy Alexander or Sidecar), or with a mixer over ice (we like to mix it with fresh, unfiltered organic apple juice).
Presentation of the Bottle
The classic, artisanal design of this VSOP reflects the authenticity, tradition, and independence of the estate itself, with elegant brown, pink and orange tones that perfectly complement the golden amber hue of the Cognac itself.
The bottle equally comes with a wooden-colored cardboard case for display, gifting or storage purposes.
This VSOP is unlike most I've tried. It has a rich, earthy tone to it like wet dirt and banana leaves. Very interesting. It opens up into floral notes, baked pears, and caramel. The palate is full of baking spices and buttery pastry with dried fruits and a bit of fresh grape. This Cognac is for a more non traditional drinker. Absolutely would buy again!
About Paul Giraud
The location of Cognac Giraud is in the prime "1er Cru" cognac growing area of the Grande Champagne, which allows Giraud to produce an exquisite cognac range, from a 6-year old to a 50-year old cognac. The estate is based in Bouteville, and with some additional vineyards in St. Même-les-Carrières, the growing area comes to 35 hectares. The cognac house combines a strong belief in traditional methods with a modern take on cognac production, avoiding any kinds of chemicals or pesticides in their agriculture and coloring additives in the final blends. The work on the plants as well as the actual harvest of the grapes is still done manually, assuring the best possible treatment of the grapes in order to generate the highest quality for the eau-de-vie. Also, Giraud only produces pure vintage cognacs, which means that they never blend eaux-de-vie from different years, but trust in the fine differences between the annual vintages.
Read more about Paul Giraud