Cognac Tesseron – XO and Beyond

melanie1.jpg When the lovely Melanie Tesseron passed through Delhi we got the opportunity to learn about her family’s famous cognacs. With a high-end portfolio of numbered ‘lot’ cognacs, Tesseron has been described as one of the most exciting players in this luxury cognac category. Reva Singh reports. Since 1905 the Tesseron family has distilled, aged and blended old cognacs. They started out as whoesalers, selling some of their extraordinary stock of aged cognacs to bigger firms for blending.

But now, Alfred and Gérard Tesseron, who are also proprietors of the prestigious Château Pontet-Canet in Pauillac, have created a unique collection of XO’s under their own label — Cognac Tesseron.
Made from the distillation of wine from the Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Folle Blanche grape varietals, the special quality of this cognac is due to Alfred Tesseron’s extraordinary tasting skills.
Clear and articulate, Melanie spoke about her family and the highly original ‘artisanal’ eaux-de-vie they produce, selected and blended from their own very considerable collection of cognac.
“We are very hands on, making cognacs in the family tradition. My great-grandfather believed that cognac should be very light in colour, very aromatic, very smooth,” she says.
For a first encounter with a great cognac, try Cognac Tesseron Lot 90 “XO Selection”.
“The lot 90 owes its freshness and purity to the vivacity of our eaux-de-vie,” pointed out Melanie. It displays an especially attractive combination of vigour and complexity, which several ice cubes bring out perfectly. From the finest terroirs in Cognac – Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois – our XO Selection’s unique character is due to at least 7 to 8 years ageing in oak barrels which adds incomparable fullness.”
Lot 76 “XO Tradition” is an exceptional blend of reserve stocks of Grande Champagne Cognac. Older, heavier, more complex, drier, it is matured to perfection in old casks and is very smooth, with less bite than other cognacs. “It is fantastic with chocolate, nut based puddings and apple crumble,” said Melanie. “It really brings out the richness in each.”
As for Lot 53 “XO Perfection”, you can’t get anything better. “It’s a blend of our most sublime stocks of Grande Champagne Cognac,” said Melanie. “It has a sumptuous topaz colour with a bouquet of plums, figs and chocolate that only decades of aging can produce.”
It was very rich, very thick with a lot of body, almost masculine, but still soft and smooth. Half a century old and rare to come across, Lot 53 lives up to its name, XO Perfection.
Cognac Tesseron’s superb eaux-de-vie are beloved of connoisseurs around the world. Imbued with flavour and aromas, perfectly blended, with no burning sensation, only different depths, these artisanal cognacs are an experience in themselves.
Excellent value for money, the cognacs’ presentation is direct and straightforward with minimal packaging. Now available in India, Cognac Tesseron is the No. 1 selling cognac in Harrods in London.

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