New Cognacs From Esteve

Of all the Cognac producers we've worked with over the past few years, Esteve is by far my favorite. I love the family, I love their estate, and I love their Cognac. They're located right on the border of Petit Champagne and Grand Champagne and most of the brandy is stored underneath their house (check out our first visit back in 2012 when we went spelunking). We get a lot of requests for 50 year old spirits around here, but the price tag of the standard 50 year single malt scares people off pretty quickly. That's why we're pretty excited about the new Propriete. For the serious baller, who only drinks mid-19th century spirits, there's the lovely Plentitude.

Jacques Esteve K&L Exclusive Tres Vieux de la Propriete Cognac $179.99 - Our relationship with Petit Champagne producer Jacques Esteve continues! This time we really went for, bringing in the family's esteemed Tres Vieux de la Propriete: a 50 year old expression that really brings the rancio along with the caramelized fruit. Even with five decades in wood, the brandy hasn't lost its freshness. The fantastic freshness of Esteve's base wines is still on full display, but quickly turns into a savory and oak spice flurry of flavor. The caramel becomes more of a burnt sugar note and the wood helps balance out the sweetness. This is a cigar lover's brandy if there ever was one. If you want 50 year old single malt, get ready to spend at least four figures. But 50 year old Cognac? Straight from the source, grower/producer-direct, from a single estate on the border of Petit and Grande Champagne, aged in a warehouse on the estate itself? Try $179.99. Now you see why we're so anxious to get back to France!

Jacques Esteve K&L Exclusive Plentitude Cognac 375ml $799.99 (these are half bottles) We've slowly built quite a following for the Jacques Esteve Cognacs here at K&L -- the small producer we began importing directly two years ago following our spirits expedition to France. On our last visit, the family brought down one of their closely-guarded treasures: the Plentitude expression, made from pre-Phylloxera brandies distilled in the 1800s. The Cognac used to create this very limited edition were distilled by Esteve's great-grandfather on the same estate more than 150 years ago. The flavors are very concentrated, rich and decadent on a level that cannot be replicated even with 40 and 50 year old expressions. We're not simply dealing with older brandy here, but rather Cognac distilled from an entirely different era when the winemaking and distillation practices were much different. Bottled in 375ml containers, these twelve bottles represent a piece of history as much as they do an extravagant spirit. Drinking the Esteve Plentitude is as much an homage to the past as it is to your palate. Only 12 bottles available.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll