"Best Cognac VSOP " and "Double Gold" 2020 San Francisco Spirits Competition
Red barrels are used casks that the precious eaux de vie has been matured in ― the term red refers to the reddish colour of the wood. The barrels are fashioned from 180- to 200-year-old oak wood.
“In the beginning, you have new barrels but once they’ve been used between three to eight years, you have the perfect stage of maturation for the barrels,” explained cellar master Christophe Vaultaud.
Cognac matured in new barrels result in a strong spicy flavor profile with hints of bitterness and astringency but when it is matured in red barrels, the harshness is toned down.
“We use these barrels to normally age the Cordon Bleu and now we are also able to use these barrels exclusively for this new VSOP.
“The flavour you can taste is a soft spiciness, when the barrels are new you get a strong spiciness and here you get something that’s perfectly balanced, which makes it really interesting,” Valtaud said.
Valtaud, the expert behind this latest creation, wanted to create a new VSOP that straddles both legacy and reinterpretation.
“We wanted this new VSOP to reflect Martell’s house style which is embodied by Cordon Bleu so Christophe has tried to make this more in line with our signature product.
“Martell is the oldest of the major cognac companies but even after 300 years, we’ve remained a very contemporary brand,” said heritage director Jacques Menier whose role is to ensure countries are following the right decision in promoting a cognac with such a long history.
The new Red Barrels cognac boasts fruity flavors of ripe mirabelle and greengage plums, apricots and peaches, and soft spiciness of vanilla and cinnamon.
In 1783, Martell was the first to ship its barrels of cognac to the United States.
Martell's distillation signature process - free of impurities - leave it open to absorbing the rich aromatic tones from the bourbon cask. The result is Martell’s hallmark style, characterized by delicate notes of candied fruit and plum, now complimented by the subtle sweetness of vanilla and toasted oak from bourbon casks. Exceptionally smooth, with a rounded taste and unique character, this redefines the boundaries.
ALL BOTTLES ARE 750 ML UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
Adult Signature Required