Friday, November 12, 2010

Is this the greatest Cognac XO in the world?

I have been inspired to write this post by reading this fascinating article, recently written by my good friend Andy.

When the Downie family escaped the rat race back in 2003 we absolutely fell on our feet by renting a gite in the middle of a vineyard called "Chez Bacou".

It is owned by Christian & Sylvie Martin and they are the eighth generation of Martin's to live there.

We could not have asked for better landlords and now, seven years on, we are lucky enough to call them close friends. 

They have watched our children grow up....indeed Christian is a councillor of the local school and helped get them into the classroom the day after we landed in France. Talk about cutting through red tape!

We too have been fortunate enough to watch their two grow from teenagers into young adults and it's a source of immense pride to them both to see their children become increasingly involved in the running of the vineyard.

As well as adding a new distillery they have recently blended and packaged the magnificent XO that I gave as a present to Andy.  They have only created a tiny quantity and it's something that you simply can't buy in the shops.

I'm lucky enough to have tasted some truly rare cognac's from all the famous houses....Courvoisier, Remy Martin, Hennessy and Martell included.

But, hand on heart, if you asked me to name my favourite I'd say that it's from this small and unknown viticulteur tucked away in the very heart of the grande champagne region.


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