A.E. Dor Vieille Fine Champagne XO Cognac
It is time for a Cognac revolution.
Ok, that is a little bit bold of a statement. But it’s still true. And we here in Wisconsin – the largest per-capita consumers of brandy-based spirits on the face of the Earth, need to lead it. That’s right, we’re the Light Brigade charging into the very fine future of delicious drinking! And here is our call.
For centuries, Cognac, that region in France just north of Bordeaux, has been producing its eponymous spirit. Through the centuries this spirit has grown up in a non-vertically-integrated fashion. A farmer grows the raw material and harvests it. A distiller vinifies and then distills it, and then somebody else matures it, sometimes for a very long time.
The big names of Cognac are of this most latter category – masters at maturating, if you will. And there is nothing wrong with that. Well, except that they are Masters of Marketing too, and you end up paying for that. But behind them—and this is our revolution to lead—is an ambitious group of small Cognac producers. Generally families who for years have been in the shadows of the big boys, distilling and maturing unique and gorgeous Cognac. The family A.E. Dor is one such family.
Founded in 1858 by the Riviere family, A.E. Dor has been farming its own vineyards, distilling their own spirit and maturing it for well over a century. This means you are getting a unique expression of Cognac, unlike any other. Further, they mature their cognac far beyond the legal requirements. The legal minimum for XO is 6.5 years, and most larger producers release their cognac on the first day of its 78th month. But this family goes far beyond that, aging this XO for at least 300 months, or 25 years. The results are sensational:
The A.E. Dor XO Cognac opens with profoundly deep flavors and sensations, there is simply no other way to describe it: the beautiful aged tones of sweet vanilla, honeycomb, candied orange zest, Christmas pound cake with rum-soaked raisins, and a simply heavenly brown sugar richness fills the glass and palate, warming the body with just the first sip. The palate is harmonious. The fruit sensations of orange blossom, mango, pear and dried apricot join all of the aromas on the nose to create a symphony of flavors that are very bold and strong, yet mellow as well. There is no denying that this Cognac is a scene-stealer, and at 25 years old it’s incredibly smooth. The finish lasts minutes, and don’t rush it – each sip is a twinkling of greatness – a life-enhancing invitation to savor just a little bit more.
My fellow Wisconsinites, we need to light this torch and lead the revolution. Big-house Cognac is sensational, but small farmer Cognac comes without the price tag and with so much delicious loving-care. This winter season, let’s stay inside and advance the revolution!