Through the Grapevine Conte Filles 18 Year Cognac
Blandine & Anne-Laure Conte, the two sisters running this estate, are the 5th generation of their family to continue the traditions of Cognac production. While the estate covers ground in three crus, this bottling comes from vines planted in Petite Champagne exclusively. Far from the soft fruit and mellow taste that has become a bit too common for this cru, the Conte sisters have created a blend that is bold in profile and focused much more on deep earthy flavors than gentle fruit. While technically listed as an 18 year old spirit, this single cask vatting contains mostly older brandies with over 30% coming from vintages older than 1990, 30% from 1995, 20% 1996, 8% 1997 & 10% 1999. Cask #63 has slowly come to proof by a gradual reduction conducted by the sisters, and is bottled at 47% abv.
The nose immediately brings across rich notes of creme brulee, orange marmalade, apricot and sweet plums. The palate continues some of these, in particular orange marmalade and vanilla, while introducing rich and creamy milk chocolate, hazelnut, and a fantastic savory rancio note of earthy mushrooms, lending serious depth to the more desserty flavors alongside it. The wonderfully long finish (no doubt thanks to the higher proof than most Cognac) continues this mushroom-like umami, before fading into deep dark chocolate.