Cognac de Collection Jean Grosperrin (1980), 51.5% ABV, 70cl (Chermignac, France)


“Grande Champagne 1980 (available in February 2005)

We acquired this cognac in December 2004. This cognac comes from a Parisian widow whose husband – a highly successful magistrate – had invested in cognac for tax reasons. When he died, she discovered she was now the owner of dozens of barrels of cognac, some of which had been stored in government-controlled (ORECO) cellars for over thirty years. We bought all of them: Grande Champagne 1980, 1971, and 1970

Today this cognac is in ours (sic) cellars, and each barrel was sealed by a bailiff. We are actually reducing it with demineralised water. We will propose it at 51%. It is a beautiful cognac, which is a both light and fruity. It is very well balanced.”

How Jean Grosperrin obtains his cognacs for his company, La Gabare:

  • old small cognac producing families often store away barrels of cognac to “pass along” to future generations. Another source is from state-controlled cognac warehouses, but mainly for younger cognacs (distilled after 1975)
  • Jean Grosperrin (now his son Guilhem) acts as a broker and purchases the barrels – check official distillation date, taste, and carbon date.
  • dilute if necessary, but avoided if possible; keeping the flavourful oils
  • Motto is barrel to bottle, unblended.
  • every bottle is corked & sealed in the presence of a bailiff

Other notes:

  • cete bouteille porte le  NO: 000424, limite a 431 litres, verification le 25 Novembre 2005
  • packaged in textured corrugated cardboard, heavy based glass bottle
  • Where I got it: Chateau Louis
  • How much: $171 (after 5%), $11 per shot
  • Drinkability: Medium-Hard

Tasting Notes (Nov 17/2011)

The first cognac review and it’s a hard one to get into. 51.5% is nothing to scoff at; I can only do a mini-sip every few minutes. It pours a lighter colour than sherry-casked scotch, very “oily”, and very alcohol forward on the nose. You get mainly apricot and massive BURN on the nose. Lots of sweetness up front, and then apricot, cinnamon spice, vanilla and then an dry spicy fruit finish. Lots of tingling on the tongue, numbing on the sides of the cheeks and only minimal warmth down the throat. After about 10 sips, my mouth feels rough.

Rating as something I would often drink: D+ (messes up my mouth – 51.5% ABV!!!)

Rating as an exciting cognac: C+