Raymond Ragnaud, Cognac XO (25 Years) (500ml)
XO Cognac, 25 Years Old
Introduction to the distillery:
In 1860, the family of Raymond Ragnaud owned a small vineyard in the Grande Champagne, the most sought-after area of the quality of its eaux-de-vie which were particularly suited for ageing, planted only with Ugni-blanc and Folle blanche grapes, the best varieties of the Charente vineyards.
In 1920, Paul Ragnaud settled in the Château of Ambleville and was succeeded in 1941 by his son Raymond who ran the vineyard and decided to market the eaux-de-vie he had inherited.
In 1963, his wife, with the help of their two children, Françoise and Jean-Marie, expanded the business which now covers 47 hectares in 3 different vineyards - Ambleville, Criteuil and Lignières-Sonneville - lying on the slopes of the Grande Champagne, a unique and exceptionnal area which produces eaux-de-vie of unparalleled quality. These vineyards are cultivated by the Ste Ragnaud-Bricq.
For the last 30 years, Françoise Ragnaud-Bricq, has remained faithful to her roots and carried on the tradition by supervising the grape harvest with meticulousness and great experience. She works hand in hand with the cellar-master to produce eaux-de-vie by distilling only wine harvested in hers vineyards.
Distilling takes place in two stages in two copper pot stills with a capacity of 16 hectolistres. The first distillation is called "Le brouillis", with an alcohol content of 24° to 32 ° depending on the wine being distilled, which is then distilled a second time to produce the "bonne chauffe" where only the "coeur" (the heart) is retained, with an alcohol content of 70°, producing a crystal-clear pure eau-de-vie.
This nectar remains in our ageing cellars for about a year, stocked in a new oak casks from the Limousin area, before being transferred to older casks to avoid excessive tannin.
The eaux-de-vie undergoes many changes during this long period in the casks: the volume and the alcohol content are reduced, the colour and the bouquet are transformed to become "cognac".
Once they reach maturity, these "eaux-de-vie" are "awakened" after several years to be blended to produce a harmonious, subtle cognac which is both full-bodied and mellow.