Frapin Cognac Chateau de Fontpinot - A Grande Champagne XO
Frapin has forced a name for itself through its unique and complex Cognacs that have stood the test of time over twenty generations, gaining notoriety and respect amongst connoisseurs throughout the world. The Frapin XO Château de Fontpinot Grande Champagne Cognac is a prime example of why Frapin has seen so much success, an XO that has been harvested, distilled, aged and bottled on the 300 hectares of the Frapin estate, making it a unique single estate Réserve where every step of the creative process is controlled on site.
This carefully concocted Cognac has won numerous awards in many spirits competitions across the globe thanks to its intense flavor profile and aromatic bouquet. Harvested exclusively on their own estate, this Cognac is the amalgamation of Domaine Frapin’s expertise, handed from one generation to the next, and their desire for excellence in their field.
This XO unveils a wonderful fall golden-orange color, like an exquisite sunset overlooking the Charente countryside from the Chateau itself. Thanks to its long ageing process in dry cellars, this particular XO from the house of Frapin has a wonderfully complex character, a bouquet of candied fruits (particularly dried apricot and figs) open onto a wonderfully nutty mix of marzipan, hazelnut, nougat and sweet port wine, finishing on the famous “rancio” character. On the palate, its smooth sailing with dried fruits following from the nose, with a full bodied and lengthy finish.
How to Enjoy
Adding a drop of water to the Chateau Fontpinot XO will allow the aromas to breathe and soften, giving you time to appreciate each singular and superb scent before taking a sip. Patrice Piveteau, Cellar Master at Frapin claims, "This Cognac enchants desserts with its fruity flavors and offers its character to anyone who enjoys the simple pleasures of a cheese board."
Why not try this exquisite XO accompanied with a beautiful blue cheese? It's sure to surprise you with its long and aromatic finish. If you favor sweet over savory, this particular XO complements a chocolate dessert, revealing vanilla and woody notes, try it with a triple-chocolate praline mousse and take your taste buds on a sensory adventure.
Presentation of the Bottle
A slim and sleek design with the legendary Frapin signature embossed onto the glass bottle. Its clean design fully puts the Cognac's warm fall colors in the spotlight. The bottle comes with a classic, round red case for storing or gifting purposes.
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