- Cognac, France
The Gilles Brisson estate has been family owned and run for 4 generations. Located in Châteaubernard, the cradle of the Grande Champagne appellation, 2 miles away from the city of Cognac, the estate owns 65 hectares in total, 25 of which are planted to Ugni-Blanc for Cognac production; this is quite a lot for an independently run Grande Champagne estate. Cyril Brisson has run the estate since 1989, having learned the arts of distillation and aging under the attentive eye of his father. In turn, Cyril’s young son Alexis is already learning from his father to keep and follow the family tradition. Little has changed in how the cognacs here are made over the last century. The estate uses only their own fruit. Grapes are harvested in mid-October, and are vinified before undergoing a careful distillation from Oct. 15th to Jan. 15th. Only the coeur de chauffe- the finest cut of the newly distilled spirit- is put into cask, where it ages in the estate’s cellar far longer than legislation requires. This additional aging time is a must for these cognacs: the refined and precise aromatic expression (floral, dry vine shoots, lime tree, etc.,) develops intense aromas, and more fruitiness, with a longer time in barrel. Gilles Brisson labels their cognac under the prestigious and rare Grande Champagne Appellation, “1er Cru de Cognac”.