Growth area & soil: Grande Champagne
Cravache d'Or XO bottled at cask strength
The Navarre Cravache d’Or XO Cognac is something quite extraordinary. A blend of eaux-de-vie from the prestigious Premier Cru aged for an average of 20 years, it has undergone a particular process unlike most Cognacs: that is non-chill filtered, nor colored or boiséd. It is as it is, straight from the cask.
Made with 100% Ugni Blanc grapes, Navarre Cognac is one of the last artisans of his kind. Jacky Navarre is a fourth generation distiller, and grows grapes on his eleven-acre estate in Gondeville. He is a master of distillation, and uses no water - he simply allows his Cognacs to reduce by natural evaporation.
This Cravache d’Or comes from the Grande Champagne, and has been distilled in his 30hl Charentais pot still. It is artisanal craft at its finest. Navarre is one of the last purists of his kind, and the barrels are oxidized by the humidity of his cellar alone. Allowing nature to do the work, he produces Cognacs such as the Cravache D’Or with an incredible depth of aroma and endless length on the palate.
Presentation of the bottle
Bottled at its natural cask strength, which is 45% ABV. The bottle is delightful, with an illustration of the Gondeville estate. Artisanal in every way.
How to enjoy
If you’ve never tasted a Cognac before that has been bottled at cask strength, we wholly recommend that you give it the full tasting experience - that is neat and in a snifter glass at room temperature. Experiment and also try it over ice.
Absolutely Worth the Price
Navarre lives up to the hype, in my opinion. It's always great to find a producer that isn't using any additives, but letting the cognac also naturally reduce in proof is an amazing ability. The Cravache d'Or is certainly the entry level bottle from Navarre, but that doesn't mean it's one dimensional...
Not that special
Must have had a cold when the cellar master created the batch I ordered. I don't understand the impressions of the other reviewers. Very present alcohol fragrance, in the nose and mouth you can feel a woody smell or taste that is more reminiscent of a scaffolding than of wood or oak notes typical...
I like the long finish
Another great Cognac by Navarre, though it's a spicy Grande Champagne one, not the typical premier cru Cognac. But I like that approach! Spicy, complex and a bit fruity (but only a little bit). The best from my pov: the very long finish - love it! Looking forward to tasting the other Navarre ones!
Darker in the bottle than in the glass, a jewel-like mahogany with red/gold tints. First nose is subtle opening up after some minutes to a not strong, but complex fruit and spice scent. No hint that it’s 90 proof. Spicy bite in the first taste that quickly becomes a mouth filling mix of spices...
This cognac is quite unique. Its depth demonstrates not only that it requires time to appreciate the different aromas and flavours, but also its complexity in the palate. The nose is pretty elegant and soft, which is also reflected in the palate, but with a higher quantity of layers of flavours. The...
About Navarre Cognac
You could consider Jacky Navarre, fourth generation distiller of Cognac Navarre, to be one of the last remaining “purists” of his kind. Distilling from the eleven-acre estate in Gondeville of the Grande Champagne, he hand-harvests his fruit - a true artisanal method that is nowadays rare to find. This ancient Cognac house crafts truly traditional Cognac, with an average of 40-50 years for one blend alone. Amazingly, the Cognacs that emerge from this house have no water added - the barrels are oxidized over a long period by the humidity of the cellar alone. The result is a Cognac of unrivaled quality, aroma and depth. His rule is simple - “let nature do most of the work” and the rest will come.
Read more about Navarre Cognac