The Society's Exhibition Grande Champagne Cognac XO

Being shown around the impressive cellars at Delamain by Managing Director Charles Braastad, the story we were being told about our Exhibition Cognac was so impressive we thought it might be too good to be true…

Grand Champagne Cognac ageing at Delamain, 2 Grande Champagne Cognac ageing at Delamain

Delamain are a family-run house and one of the oldest and most revered in Cognac, with unparalleled access to excellent stocks of old brandy. Interestingly, Cognac is often a complex blend of barrels from across various vineyards and vintages, however it transpires that The Wine Society has been working for many years with a very specialist proposition.

The Society's Exhibition Cognac XO is from a single vineyard, called Juillac-le-Coq, in the heart of Grande Champagne, the finest of Cognac's six sub-regions. While displaying all of Delamain's high levels of quality and complexity, this Cognac is the truest expression of the exceptional terroir and micro-climate of the village of Juillac-le-Coq. The town sits in the centre of Grande Champagne, at its highest point, in a particularly fine area known as the Golden Triangle – and it's an honest reflection of how vineyard location can change every element in a Cognac.

Demi-johns of very old and rare Cognacs at Delamain, 5 Demi-johns of very old and rare Cognacs at Delamain, 5

The Wine Society and Delamain have always chosen to highlight the terroir in the name – The Society's Exhibition Grande Champagne Cognac XO – but we only recently added XO to the list name to reflect the length of time it has been aged in barrels (see my top 10 Cognac facts for more information about the ageing designations). This is because to be classed as XO, a Cognac must have been aged in oak for six years, but The Society's Exhibition Grande Champagne Cognac XO is usually around 25 years old!

As you can see, it sounded too good to be true… well, almost.

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