Rémy Martin, Cognac House #2 in the world, produces VS and VSOP in 20ml and 750ml bottles. They also have Louis XIII which some people don’t even associate with Rémy Martin as the name is so well known by itself, not only the brand behind it, writes Nicolas Palazzi from Cognac. In my opinion Louis XIII is a good product and the marketing around it is fantastic.
I find the decanter superb (see the Remy YouTube video about the Louis Rare Cask. Towards the end, they film the process of making the bottle at Baccarat. It’s amazing craftsmanship).
Louis is a good cognac, but funnily enough this is not the only point, because it has also become a status drink. Order it and impress people you have made it. Two waiters will come with the bottle on a silver tray, the whole restaurant stops, and looks at you.
People drink an image, the actual cognac is not really important here. This image makes people dream; so much so that they don’t even ask themselves basic questions such as if it was so rare a cognac, would there really be a bottle in every luxury hotel bar in the galaxy?
It is the same for the Black Pearl edition: if one asks the Rémy team they will say it is the same cognac as the one used for Louis but in a black decanter. The price is up to 10 times the regular Louis XIII; but again, it is the idea behind the product that makes people dream. And this justifies the amount of money one is ready to spend on this bottle.
Louis XIII is the pinnacle of status drinks; Hennessy wants to get there but neither Paradis nor Richard is half as well-known as Louis. I respect Rémy Martin for that.
Read “Cognac Beyond Compare” by Harshal Shah in Sommelier India WINE Magazine, September/October 2010