From wines distilled in 1920s, with 5% from 1905 and 30% of the blend from 1906. This is a very rare wine that has been lovingly aged for three generations. It also includes some Colombard and Folle Blanche, along with the usual Ugni Blanc.
You can get older and rarer Cognacs, yet this wine will never suffer by comparison. It is remarkably pure and refined with floral, brown spice and green chartreuse hints. The palate is impeccably fine and balanced with a souring finish, seemingly free of spirit and beyond description.
Tesseron Cognac Lot N°29 Exception is the rare jewel of the Tesseron collection of Cognacs. A unique blend of legendary Grande Champagne, the cream of their oldest and rarest stocks, lovingly aged for at least three generations. Balancing power and finesse, Exception has a floral bouquet, combined with chocolate and mocha notes. This is complemented by that elusive, ethereal nose which is so typical of only the very best old cognac. This subtle elixir has an extraordinarily long aftertaste, and its lovely amber highlights reflect its very slow ageing – the quintessence of elegance.
Despite being situated in a region that is totally dominated by large brands and their enormous marketing budgets, the Tesseron family has succeeded in becoming a genuine benchmark. There’s is a story that has some synergies with the top grower-producers in Champagne (vs. the Grandes Marques), in that it has been only the remarkable quality (as opposed to advertising and PR) of Tesseron’s XO-only Cognacs has allowed this family owned producer to carve out an important niche amongst the giants of the Cognac world. It has certainly helped that the Tesseron family owns what we believe is the largest collections of ancient Cognacs in their legendary 13th century, Paradis cellars, once part of the local Abbey. Before they started releasing small batches of these Cognac under their own label, the Tesseron family had been a highly reputed supplier of old, XO Cognacs to the large houses for over a century.
The quality of the Cognacs has do with a range of key factors including: the high average age of the Cognacs used, the predominant use of fruit grown in the Grande and Petite Champagne areas (Cognac’s finest terroirs), and the exclusive focus on small batch production of the finest XO Cognac. Today these stunning spirits are selected and blended by Tesseron’s master blender, Jacky Martial (now working alongside his son Romain Martial), from the vast collection of ancient reserves that the Tesseron family hold in barrel and glass demijohns. Each of these stunning spirits is perfectly suited to those who appreciate a beautifully crafted, complex and refined dram.
ROBERT PARKER - WINE ADVOCATE
Anything this smooth, silky, potent, and aromatic, is truly great stuff. It is about as ethereal Cognac as anyone could ever hope to drink.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
This sits in the ‘classic range’ but is called ‘Exception’ because ‘this is where Grande Champagne really soars’. Distilled in the 1920s and contains some colombard and folle blanche. <i>‘This is pretty much what I consider my grandfather’s Cognac, 1920s distilled but with a portion from a 1905 demi-john. For me this is a bit like a book, every time you go back to it it changes, something very special; the rancio is quite strong, but very different from the 1953; very special for us, and very rare to have it tasted, if at all. Very rare bottle, but this is our first visit to Australia so I really wanted to show it’</i> so sayeth Melanie Tesseron. Bright golden with orange hue. Amazing aromatics; amazing. Incredible to inhale, no higher alcohol burn to turn a head away, but rich, sweet-tinged, spicy and fruity, even. There’s the warmth of charred oak, wet logs, sandalwood and dark chocolate too. Feels so very smooth, lathed, slippery and yet insanely deep – triggers of fine woods, fresh honey, light rancio and a kind of liquid-mineral vein, firing in volleys within the contained frame of the Cognac. And while the texture remains supple, there’s a long, slow burn of campfire-like embers to close; it glows with a definitive sweetness, and then ebbs away with freshening floral, toffee notes and an almost briny tang. Wow. Wow.