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Léopold Gourmel Âge des Épices 20 Carats Cognac

Cognac

Léopold Gourmel

Léopold Gourmel is an artisanal Cognac house, founded by Olivier Blanc in 1972...

Léopold Gourmel was Olivier‘s grand-father, a famous viticulteur and horse saddler (hence the horse‘s head, which features on all the Cognac bottles).  Olivier‘s aim was to make ‘intelligent‘ Cognacs that remained faithful to nature, by avoiding the usual standardization and blending of Cognacs (instead he makes his Cognacs from a single vintage), and rejecting the legal use of additives. His Cognacs are classed according to the length of time they age, with 10, 15 and 20 Carats reflecting the minimum of 10, 15 or 20 years that the Cognacs have aged. Uniquely, he also classes his Cognacs according to the dominant aromas they age: Fruit, Floral or Spice aromas.

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Vineyards

Léopold Gourmel cognacs originate in vineyards located in the hilly Premier Cru, or First Growth, of Fins Bois, with the oldest subsoils and best exposure to the sun. No chemicals or pesticides are used on the vineyards. Olivier`s team prunes the vines to give half the average cognac yield. The vines are between 15-45 years old with a density of 5,000 vines per hectare, almost three times the region`s average.

Vinification

Each vineyard is harvested and fermented separately. Atypically for the region, all Olivier`s cognacs are made from a single vintage. The wines age on their fine lees to increase intensity.  A "fat" distillation takes place to create a slightly less pure but more aromatic spirit with greater ageing potential.  The cognacs age in fine-grain Allier oak casks, of which 20% is new. A light filtration is carried out to remove any residues left in the spirit without stripping the aromas and flavours. Reduction of the alcohol level from 70% to 40% takes place as slowly as possible, by adding the spirit to water (adding water to the spirit is the more common practice but this encourages the loss of aromas and results in a soapy, creamy flavour). No additives are used. The Age des Epices is the equivalent to the Très Vieux style. It is aged for 20 years and is incredibly intense and rich, yet mellow.

Tasting Notes

Intense gold in colour with rich, rounded aromas of honey, wood and leather. On the palate it is powerful, with plenty of spice character, pepper, clove, coriander and ginger and a touch of butterscotch on the finish.

Vintage information

Vintage NV
Grape varieties 96% Ugni Blanc
2% Folle Blanche
2% Colombard
Region Cognac
Alcohol (ABV) 43%
Bottle Size 70cl