Martell ambassador Pierre Boyer brings us through how cognac can hold its own as a drink, a collector’s item, and perhaps, even an investment.
There’s a reason why cognac has been regarded as the finest of all spirits distilled from grapes for the past three centuries. It is fruity, subtle in bouquet, intense, warm and above all, incomparably complex with multiple layers of flavours, a feat made even more admirable given that is made from (predominantly) a single grape variety.
Adding to all that brilliance is how cognac, misconceived by many to be a serious, stiff drink, can also be incredibly versatile and playful.
“It’s amazing how it all starts with grapes, a basic grape juice and a few years later you have this amazing spirit that’s so complicated to make boasting powerful aromas that you don’t expect,” tells Pierre Boyer, ambassador for Martell cognacs.
Having grown up in Cognac, France, and having sipped on cognac since he can remember, the spirit holds a particularly special place in his heart.
“I don’t really like the bitter taste, and you don’t experience bitterness with cognac,” Pierre muses further. “I really think it is quite playful and made for everyone.”
Made for everyone indeed as it holds its own as a drink, a collector’s item, and perhaps, even an investment. Pierre walks us through its standing in each.
Ask Pierre any time of the day and he’ll tell you cognac is straight up made for drinking.
“Cognac is always made for drinking,” he says. “It’s not meant to be kept to be bragged about to your friends. It’s a drink, an amazing one, made to play with and create new emotions.”
“If you’re opening for drinking straightaway, in one seating and not a glass in every six months, I will look for a cognac that is very aromatic – a young cognac, like a VS or a VSOP. You can party with cognac, you don’t have to be serious with cognac all the time.”
For the appreciators of the older variety who would like a cognac library, Pierre advises on the feeling it evokes at sight as much as sip.
“I’d want a cognac that can make me feel special everytime I drink it, so I’d look out for a very rare cognac,” he tells. “I love special bottle designs, I always appreciate a good bottle design. We are the most creative minds in terms of creating bottles in the cognac industry.”
There are many ways to create uniqueness – one of course being the aging the cognac. The grape variety also can make a cognac unique.
“Most importantly the cognac has to be tasty – it has to match your taste,” shares Pierre. “One of my personal favourites is the Martell Chanteloup Perspective.”
While there are certain bottles of cognac that one can invest in, the appreciating value lies in its limited edition or discontinued vintages, not so much the cognac itself.
“Cognac, once in a bottle, doesn’t change anymore,” explains Pierre. “Unlike wine, cognac does not evolve anymore once removed from the barrel. Keeping your bottle for investment is nonsense. We don’t do vintages too much either in cognac. All producers believe blending is the secret to creating the perfect cognac. The sum of it is what makes it perfect, none of the ingredients are perfect, only the final product.”
If you seek to invest, look for rare bottles like the the Martell L’or de Jean Martell.
Learn more about Martell’s cognacs at the official website here.