An Ode to Australia: Prunier Cognac XXO Family Series Number 1
One step up from the regular XO is the XXO, and Prunier are next in line with their very own innovative take on the newest Cognac age denomination. The Prunier Cognac XXO Family Series Number 1 represents at least 14 years of aging, after the XXO age category became official in November 2018. Aromatic, complex and floral in nature, this Cognac will be a sure winner with any connoisseur.
The first of Prunier's Family Series, they are only produced in very small quantities. In fact, this Cognac is by no means easy to come by. You will have to travel to Australia, as this limited edition Cognac was created for Mr Dale Cooper and his wine domain in Geelong, Australia!
The introduction of the latest age category has caused a certain buzz throughout the region, and offers an exciting opportunity for cellar masters, blenders and distillers to create something that has never been seen before.
After many years of passing down their savoir-faire through many generations, they have created an assembly of two Vintage Cognacs from the years 1992 and 1996 respectively. The eaux-de-vie comes from the Fins Bois cru from the north of the Charente region, and has been aged for over a decade in dark and humid cellars of the family estate. The two eaux-de-vie from which the blend originates were stored in barrels and sealed by an officiator to guarantee their time spent aging.
The alcohol content of this XXO Cognac has only been reduced naturally and over time, and there is no added sugar nor caramel. It is therefore a truly rare and exceptional eaux-de-vie.
Presentation of the Cognac XXO Prunier
With only 500 bottles available, it’s a once in a lifetime Cognac opportunity. The top of the label is a photo taken from the Maison Prunier archives of Gaston Prunier’s associate in Australia, Ambroise Lamandé.
Each bottle is numbered, and has been marked with a wax stamp made in the cellars. Each label has been signed by the Managing Director of Maison Prunier, Stéphane Burnez and Dale Cooper. It also arrives in a stunning presentation box that denotes the precious nature of this XXO.
Concentrated, rich, robust. A serious expression that has lovely fruit intensity, rancio, dried apricots and pears, chocolate and orange peel. Cask Strength but the intensity of flavours carry the alcohol well through the palate which is smooth and moorish. Certainly a great spirit, well defined and at such a small bottling is an seriously good value as well.
I had the pleasure of tasting this rare bottle project while travelling. Prunier are a well respected house and this is a testament to their reputation. Truly a piece of art Cognac not a mass produced gimmick. It seems that the idea behind this is just to make great cognac, not to make an age statement.
It's highly alcoholic so the nose is a little strong at first but it opens up very quickly and you must be careful not to forget this is 50%+. It's the type of Cognac that you would inhale through your nose if you could as the nutty and floral aromas are amazing. Its surprisingly delicate given it the alcohol content but unsurprising given the age and blend history.
On the palate, once again the complexity keeps the mouth adventuring the whole time while being coherent and structured at the same time. Its not overpowering in anyway and has lots of differing clean but delicate notes. It opens up more and more so don't hesitate to let the glass sit. The best glasses I had were after it had sat for little bit. Definitely a drink to sit and ponder with. It becomes less nutty and more complex as it sits.
Make no mistake this is a serious Cognac for a serious drinker. Even at it's price point, it is very, very good and worth a try for that special occasion.
Prunier XXO Family Series No1
I tried this a couple of weeks ago after I purchased a bottle.
Although this has been the most expensive Cognac I have purchased to date. I was a little hesitant when I saw it was cask strength 50.9% ABV,
Once it has time in the glass to open up it blossoms into the most amazing nose and palate that seems to be endless.
What an absolute achievement to the blender of this very rare and unique XXO.
About Prunier Cognac
Steeped in tradition, Cognac Prunier is a family run firm with cellars in the heart of the town of Cognac. The house does not own its own vineyards, instead, they buy the eaux-de-vie directly from supplying vine growers and distillers each year, and then carry out the ageing process in their own cellars.
Read more about Prunier Cognac