Drouet cognac faq

View of Drouet Vineyards

View of Drouet Vineyards

WHAT MAKES DROUET COGNAC SO EXCEPTIONAL?

For Patrick Drouet, Zen is distilling

For Patrick Drouet, Zen is distilling

  • Estate grown GRANDE CHAMPAGNE 1ER CRU grapes
  • Estate distilled (by Patrick Drouet)
  • Distillation in SMALL BATCHES (240 litres)
  • Estate aged (all casks aged on estate)
  • Estate bottled, MOSTLY by hand
  • Aging much LONGER than required by law

              =

  • Single Estate – The Drouet Cognac DNA
  • Perfect representation of what a true small batch Cognac should be
  • Silky, marvelously rich taste profile

WHAT IS GRANDE CHAMPAGNE?

Cognac’s region of production is made of 6 growth areas, or “crus.” The GRANDE CHAMPAGNE growth area is the most prestigious “cru”, giving full-bodied, powerful, pungent, persistent flavours. 

The CHALK soil is similar to Champagne region near Reims, hence the name. 

All Drouet Cognacs are made from 100% Grande Champagne estate grown grapes.

FAQ Picture 1 (map of Cognac) (1).png

WHAT GRAPES ARE USED FOR COGNAC?

In fact most Cognac is made with the ‘Ugni blanc’ variety. However it can also be made with Folle Blanche or Colombard grapes. 

Drouet’s plantings are 98% Ugni Blanc, 2% Colombard.

WHAT IS THE VINIFICATION PROCESS FOR COGNAC? 

Actually, it is the same as for most wines. Harvest takes place in September/October. Once harvested, the grapes are pressed, with fermentation lasting 2-3 weeks. The resulting wine is 7-8% abv.

WHAT IS THE DISTILLATION PROCESS FOR COGNAC?

Cognac undergoes a DOUBLE DISTILLATION process, giving it its unique taste.

The first distillation takes place traditionally in stills known as “Alembic Charentais” (COPPER ALEMBIC). The wine used is low in alcohol favouring aromas concentration. The wine is heated and distilled into a first cloudy distillate with a 30% abv.

Copper alembic

Copper alembic

The second distillation creates a bright eau de vie of about 70% abv. Only the best “cut” or “coupe de chauffe” is kept containing delicate aromas and fragances, which is then filled into barrels for ageing. This will be Cognac, as we know it. 

Best “cut” of distillation

Best “cut” of distillation

At Domaine Drouet, DISTILLING REACHES THE HEIGHT OF CRAFTMANSHIP. Owner Patrick Drouet is an exceptionally talented distiller and artisan. Passionate about all he does, his true labour of love is distilling. You might find Patrick during the height of the distilling season (Nov-Jan) tending his stills during ungodly hours, resting occasionally on an appointed cot nearby...

Drouet cot in Still house

Drouet cot in Still house

WHAT IS THE (BARREL) AGEING PROCESS FOR COGNAC?

Cognac barrels have to be of French oak. During the ageing process, eaux-de-vie evaporates, known as the “Part des Anges”, or “ANGEL ‘SHARE.”Through evaporation over time, abv drops from 70% to about 40% (legal minimum). After ageing for decades, the eaux-de-vie reaches it apogee, known as “PARADIS”, or “Paradise.”

WHAT IS SINGLE ESTATE COGNAC?

When the eaux de vie provenance (and grapes therein) is from the property , has more typicity, authenticity than large blended brands.

When the ageing takes place on the estate, as well as the bottling. 

Drouet Cognacs are the perfect representation of single estate Cognacs. 

WHAT IS THE BLENDING PROCESS FOR COGNAC?

Blending is the last stage, across different casks, meaning typically across different vintages and/or locations. Likened to non-vintage Champagne, relying on blending to achieve consistency of style.  Common practice with the large HOUSES (REMY MARTIN, MARTELL,…).

WHAT IS THE COGNAC GRADE SYSTEM?

The Cognac grade system is based on the “COMPTE SYSTEM”, which measures  the “AGE COUNT” date.

Compte/Grade System

Compte/Grade System

THE AVERAGE COUNT FOR DROUET COGNACS IS MUCH HIGHER THAN THE MINIMUM REQUIRED: 5-10 years for the VSOP (vs 5); 20 years for the XO Ulysse (vs 7); and 25-45 years for the Hors d’Age Paradis de Famille (vs 20+). This significant difference in ageing explains in large part the top-notch quality of Drouet Cognacs.

WHAT IS VINTAGE COGNAC?

A vintage or “millesimé” Cognac is distilled from only one specific harvest, and aged in sealed casks.  Quite rare.

Drouet produces some vintage Cognacs on a limited basis. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COGNAC AND ARMAGNAC?

Armagnac's best grapes are grown on sandy soil  in southwestern France, while Cognac's best grapes are grown on chalky soil 100 miles north of the Armagnac region near the Atlantic coast. 

Differences between Cognac and Armagnac

Differences between Cognac and Armagnac