Cognac Chateau de Fonpinot XO is a unique blend, bottled in a 70 cl bottle. The Cognac is a single estate Réserve, coming from the 300 hectares of Frapins estate. This XO Cognac was aged in wooden casks for a long time. The brand is allowed to use the appellation of Chateau because the harvesting, distilling, ageing and bottling process takes place at the Chateau.
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The colour of Frapins XO is golden, on the nose: Some flowers, in the mouth: Some dark almonds, dry flower, orange - a long presence. The aftertaste is dominated by Rancio, staying complex and fine at the same time.
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