Bourgoin Cognac: Cognac the simple way19-12-2017
The Bourgoin Cognac company launched by Frederic and Maelys Bourgoin is breaking down the taboos surrounding the ultimate French brandy.
Focus on a booming market segment
With 98% of its production sold outside France in 160 countries around the world, Cognac is seeing remarkable success on a global scale. While the sector is experiencing levels of success not seen for the last 30 years, it is undoubtedly down to big negociant houses such as Martell, Courvoisier, Louis Royer, Meukow, Rémy Martin and Camus. But they are not alone. A large number of brands with a growing appetite are doing their bit to make Cognac one of France’s most popular home-grown products abroad.
Shedding new light on Cognac
Range of products Bourgoin Cognac
Bourgoin Cognac, a family-run company founded and owned by grape grower Frederic Bourgoin, based in Saint-Saturnin in the Charente region, is doing precisely that. A dab hand at biodynamics and advocate of good taste, this young Frenchman is driven by the single objective of revealing Cognac in a totally new light, giving consumers every reason to give it another try. Frederic Bourgoin knows his subject well, since his family has worked for the most eminent negociant companies, including some of the famous names mentioned earlier, since 1930. Today the family estate covers vineyards located in the first-growth regions of Bois, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois. This rich historic past has without doubt enabled Frederic Bourgoin to launch his own Cognac brand with the conviction that this Cognac, the precious elixir of an entire region, has the potential to reinvent itself and transform, as much through its design as in the way it is made, and in its marketing. And here Maelys works her magic. “We had the Cognac, but we didn’t have the bottle” she explains.
Brother and sister act
His 28-year old younger sister is hot on his heels in this madcap scheme. Having both earned their stripes in the vineyards at a very tender age, they subsequently pursued their studies in the field of marketing and viticulture. Experience working at various prestigious spirit companies was instrumental in shaping the route they would eventually follow. Frederic’s blog, which relates his travels across various continents and wine regions, taking in discovery after discovery, taught him two valuable lessons: the importance of the most natural production methods possible to allow the character of the vineyard to shine, and in so doing, not having to rely on blending. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“We work on one vintage at a time. So for our fine Cognacs, we are focusing on 1994 and 23- year old Cognacs” explains Maelys, an “inspired vine grower and alchemist on the run”, as her headed note paper proudly confirms. The Bourgoin stamp is omnipresent, a wondrous mix of the simplicity of human relationships and exacting standards and style on a journey to seeking the ultimate flavour. Here the focus is on Brut de Fut, and the importance of the skills inherent to the cognac sector are deeply revered. The cooper plays a vital role in the success of the end result. He is tasked with creating the perfect barrel, such as this 10-litre micro barrels which play a huge part in enhancing the flavours of the Cognac. “The wood softens the Cognac, making it smoother and easier to drink as there is less fire on the palate. It is a common reproach with Cognac” points out Maelys Bourgoin.
Let the magie commence
Making Cognac is one thing, but making a quality product without additives is an entirely different ball game. This philosophy vehemently defended by Bourgoin Cognac can be explained by the commitment to deliver a different taste profile and usage to Cognac. “When it comes out of the barrel, our Cognac is non-filtered, with no added caramel or sugar and no oak chips. We are as near to pure terroir as humanly possible. We have created Cognac that we are all very happy with. Sincere, authentic and real, this is a grower’s Cognac, natural, and stamped with the taste of the vintage and the vision of a family of growers who perpetuate their passion.” And it seems to be a formula for success.
A new, simple way to enjoy Cognac
“We are starting to secure listings in high-end restaurants” points out Maelys. Which proves that fine Cognac has a future in this segment, though not exclusively, according to the Bourgoins. “The objective is to show consumers that Cognac can also be enjoyed as an aperitif or a digestive.” And in a bottle that could easily grace a pharmacy, we might hasten to add. To this end the company works closely with cocktail bars and restaurants in order to come up with various food and Cognac pairings. “Marched with chocolate, caviar and even cheese platters”. Two Cognacs have been created specially as a cocktail ingredient. Fine Pale is two years old, Brut de Fut and 62% ABV; it is specifically targeted at mixologists. With the Fine Pale, you can mix a “Fine and water”, which was a popular cocktail in France before the Second World War, and starting to make a comeback in cocktail bars. Verseau, a 2012 vintage, has also been created especially for barmen. This 5-year old Cognac, made with wine on its lees, expresses wonderful aromatics. And when it comes to drinking: “I tend to drink it with friends, in a simple glass. There’s no need for a special glass like some may think,” insists Maelys. Dispelling the myths around Cognac, while tasting a drop of this prestigious liquid, in moderation, of course.
Great places to eat and drink that serve Bourgoin Cognac
Le Mordant: 61 Rue de Chabrol, 75010 Paris
A Noste: 6bis Rue du 4 Septembre, 75002 Paris
Great places to drink Bourgoin Cognac cocktails
Lulu White: 12 Rue Frochot, 75009 Paris
Sherry Butt: 20 Rue Beautreillis, 75004 Paris
And in the UK:
Joyeux Bordel: 147 Curtain Rd, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3QE
Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, consume with moderation.