Growth area & soil: Grande Champagne
Frapin XO Château de Fontpinot Grande Champagne: A lingering taste sensation
Frapin Château Fontpinot XO is a beautifully mature, 100% Grande Champagne offering from Frapin’s “Tresor du Chateau” collection. This collection offers Cognacs of the highest level of excellence from the house of Frapin. The fruit of a long aging process in dry cellars, this XO is subtle yet complex and boasts strong aromas of fruit, marzipan, hazelnut, nougat and prevailing rancio. A concoction of both rich and balanced flavors Chateau de Fontpinot XO is well recognised for its exceptionally long finish and its subsequent lasting impression.
"Only a true gourmet will appreciate the Château Fontpinot XO to the full. This cognac enchants desserts with its fruity flavours and offers its character to anyone who enjoys the simple pleasures of a cheese board." Patrice Piveteau, Cellar Master
The house of Frapin is fronted by a family of award winning pioneers in the art of blending vintage eaux-de-vie, as they were in fact the very first Cognac house to produce a mult-vintage blend. Favouring advanced techniques and natural treatments, Frapin are an innovative Cognac house with a vision for sustainable development. Based in the heart of the Grande Champagne region and covering hundreds of hectares of land, Maison Frapin is a brand to be truly inspired by.
Presentation of the bottle
Unveiling a gorgeous autumnal golden-orange colour with warm highlights, Château Fontpinot XO defines chic. With its slender form and long neck the bottle itself is as elegant as they come. It can be displayed as a stunning centerpiece for the table, when dining with guests or positioned delicately amongst other bottles in a Cognac collection. Presented with a deep red tubed box, accents of silver reflect the brand's prestigious image and finish off the bottle beautifully.
How to enjoy
Adding a drop of water to Château Fontpinot XO, lets the aromas breathe and the power of the Cognac to soften gently.The house of Frapin recommends that this Cognac to be paired with a chocolate dessert, as it will enhance the vanilla and woody flavours of the eaux-de-vie. Serving it with a dark chocolate macaroon, or a three-chocolate praline mousse will seduce the senses and impress guests. Equally, this well-aged blend pairs delightfully with cheeses such as Mimolette, Parmesan, ewe’s milk cheese or blue cheese, as the surprisingly long aromatic finish lingers blissfully on the palate.
2020 - UK IWSC – Gold Medal
2019 US Ultimate Spirits Challenge – 95/100. “Extraordinary. Ultimate Recommendation”
2018 UK Cognac Masters – Master 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Gold medal
2018 US International Spirits Challenge – Trophy Best XO / Gold Medal
2018 DE ISW – Gold medal / Best XO 2018 UK Cognac Masters – Master
2017 UK World Cognac Awards – Gold medal
The aroma is strong, rich, slightly spirituous, flowers, oak. The tone of green grapes, dried fruits.
I'm not sure I'll buy it again.
Really good. Has various flavors like apricots, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and spices.
Dollar for dollar the best Cognac for a smaller budget, 5 stars
I can occasionally afford the Frapin Extra, but this has become my go to bottle alongside the De Luze brand, as what you get compared with what you're paying (as in De Luze) is such an incredible value. In fact, this is quite a great Cognac regardless of money. Seems comprised mainly of eaux-de-vie around 18-20 years of age, or at least those are what seem to predominate based on the aromas, flavors, and finishing touches I seem to get from this bottle.
Candied and dried fruits mainly on nose bouquet and palate taste, finishes mainly to (perhaps golden) raisin and spiced or peppered oak with hawthorn and vanilla, ultimately fading to the gran finale of bare Limousin oak at around 20min after last sip, lasting about 10min for a total finish of ~30min+
The process I typically use to consume Cognac:
Use tulip glass or contemporary snifter. A contemporary snifter is preferred as no added water is necessary because of the small surface area and superior narrowing. The pour needs to be less than the widest opening of the base's central dome. Do not use a normal brandy snifter. Wait not quite 15min to first sip.
Rancio means the oxidized and fermented fatty acid esters and tannins and their resulting nutty woody earthy flavor or dried and candied or toasted fruits, flowers, and spices. Frapin's rancio reaches full maturity at 40-50 years (being chalky Grande Champagne soil) and is a wooden cigar box rancio at that age. Hints of the beginnings of that can be found in this bottle, which is mainly comprised of 18-20 year eaux-de-vie.
fruit: dried apricot, dried fig, candied orange, (perhaps stewed) raisin, prune,
nuts: marzipan almond, and hazelnut rancio, white honey, nougat, French almond praline
beans: hints of coffeen chocolate
floral: vanilla and hawthorn
misc and wood: port wine, oak (perhaps peppered)
and perhaps less so:
spices: ginger or peehaps more of a gingerbread that is of light molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, liqourice
beans: tonka beans
fruits: green apple, orange peel or marmalade
nuts: walnut and leather rancio
floral: various wild flowers
misc and wood: "drying laundry"
Seasonal Cognac aroma wheel analysis:
mainly Automne and some late autumn/early winter and hints of summer and Printemps.
The elixir seems mostly to be of dried Apricot and dried fig, and various candied oranges, with raisin and prune, vanilla and hawthorn, various candied almond confections, hazelnut and walnut with peppered oak rancio, and perhaps ginger spice (or gingerbread made with a light amount of molasses).
early: dried Apricot, candied orange, raisin (rather than muscat grape of older Cognacs),chocolate, green apple
mid: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, liqourice, vanilla (more pod than wood since it's younger)
late: cigar box (not as pronounced as in the Frapin Extra due to younger age)
early: black pepper (slight hint, perhaps more of a spiced pepper, coriander-esque...unless Im confusing these modified pepper overtones with the ginger undertones), gingerbread coffee,
late: Hazelnut, walnut, prune, tonka pod and bean (slight hints)
early: orange, tonka fruit (slight hint)
late: dried fig (perhaps early Automne since dried)
late: almond, maybe jasmine
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.
Read more about Frapin Cognac