Taste a VSOP cognac means to be part of what has been a ritual of great sophistication for some decades. To find his way, Icon-Icon has chosen the most iconic VSOP cognacs of this art of living.
SPÉCIAL VSOP Cognac : Choosing the right elixir
VSOP cognacs are well known to be among the most accomplished… VSOP is the naming for “Very Superior Old Pale” – it means cognacs made from eaux-de-vie aged for at least four years. Hence the importance of choosing your VSOP carefully.
Although Cognac, which has been renowned throughout the world for centuries, is now a blended spirit, few people are able to express the finesse and elegance of this ancestral tradition from the Cognac region!
Because it is a symbol for luxury and French elegance, Icon-Icon has taken care to choose the houses that have made VSOP cognac a nectar to be enjoyed alone or with others!
And here, it is the Camus house that holds the top spot. In the hands of the 5th generation, the Camus house watches over an expert savoir-faire in cognac. And the Camus VSOP range is among the most sought-after!
Camus Borderies VSOP Cognac is probably the most interesting… A limited edition mono-cru and mono-domain cognac – Camus Borderies VSOP is made exclusively from grapes grown in the Camus vineyards in Borderies. It is this soil that gives it its aroma, and in particular its nuances of violet and walnut!
A tasting experience that is described as below by the Camus House : “It has a magnificent, even orange colour with rich amber highlights. On the nose, it reveals greedy notes of vanilla pods and orange zest supported by floral and sweet spice aromas. On the palate, it reveals a full and unctuous structure, with an assertive but elegant structure supported by a light woody touch. The finish is long and well-balanced with a lot of freshness.”
The Camus Very Special Intensity Cognac is one of the house’s most famous expressions. A blend of carefully selected eaux-de-vie which aims to restore the quintessence of the flavours of the Charente region… That is to say, on the palate, rich fruity aromas enhanced by touches of spices which magnify the tasting of the cognac!
The Hennessy House, probably the most well-known, offers a VSOP cognac inherited from a privilege… The house explains: “perpetuating the heritage of the original V.S.O.P Privilège – specially created by Hennessy in 1817 for the Prince Regent of England, who would later become King George IV – the objective of the Hennessy Master Blenders has always been to create a blend that is as complete as it is harmonious; the very expression of a perfectly balanced cognac.”
So, this Hennessy cognac is the result of the Hennessy handmade savoir-faire. Hennessy VSOP Privilege is the result of a traditional ageing process carried out by Hennessy’s master blenders… In other words, a cognac aged between four and fifteen years in Limousin oak barrels, which gives it the sublime woody notes on the nose and in the mouth!
The Louis Royer house introduce a remarkable VSOP. It must be said that since its foundation in 1853, the house has distilled its ancestral savoir-faire into cognacs expressing the best of the fruit and the eaux-de-vie.
Laurent Moulis, Managing Director since 2017, explains: “At Louis Royer, we have the advantage of mastering all the trades from the vine to the market and of having high-performance tools to create great cognacs. It is then a question of combining human skills and the passion of the men and women who make up the wealth of the House. Just like in rugby, we work as a team and I am the captain in order to achieve our objectives.”
With this VSOP Louis Royer cognac, we taste a unique style of cognac, dominated by generous notes of fruit, all round and smooth. The tasting experience is described by the cellar master as follows: “On the nose, very present notes of dried fruit (fig, apricot), blackcurrant and grape. On the palate, we appreciate a nice complexity and a beautiful roundness sublimated by notes of vanilla and chocolate. A rich, round and harmonious cognac.”
Here is another great VSOP cognac. The ABK6 VSOP Single Estate. Distilled exclusively from Ugni Blanc grapes, on a limestone hillside terroir, the ABK6 VSOP Single Estate is a modern cognac because it is revolutionary. It is blended from a selection of very old eaux-de-vie (older than legally required for the VSOP appellation) to better highlight the savoi-faire of Domaines Francis Abécassis.
The illustrious house of Martell introduces its VSOP as a well-orchestrated symphony of aromas and flavours. Martell VSOP cognac reveals a complex nose, a sober palate and a racy backbone! This is Martell’s signature taste, the result of ageing in French oak barrels made from Tronçais trees, with a grain so fine that it creates cognacs that are light and delicately wooded!
The Drouet VSOP is a blend of subtle complexity, complemented by a powerful palate – Drouet VSOP Cognac is a harmonious, precise and rich blend. Created only with eaux-de-vie from the first Grande Champagne terroir, it presents an exceptional blend that asserts itself in a fruity and floral essence!
Frapin House is no exception with Frapin VSOP. Rich and warm, with a fruity and spicy baked apple core. Smooth and long with persistent spicy notes – Frapin VSOP is an exceptional cognac, made by the Frapin house, around a blend of eaux-de-vie from the grapes of the great Frapin domain!
Finally, it is the Courvoisier VSOP that closes our selection of iconic VSOP cognacs. Aged longer than the minimum ageing time of four years for VSOP cognac, the Courvoisier VSOP cognac rests for about eight years. This is what gives it all its ardour and aromatic power. It is not for nothing that Courvoisier is Napoleon’s cognac… He took several cases with him to Saint Helena to ease the exile.