In France, brandies are also known as eau de vie, which translates to “water of life”.True cognac lovers would not be easily impressed with big names, such as RémyMartin and Hennessy; they are seeking tirelessly for the ultimate eau de vie.
據說太師龍只生產 XO 級別以上的干邑， 不僅供酒給巴黎多家米其林三星級餐廳， 著名酒評人羅拔柏加更特別鍾情太師龍 29 號XO 干邑，毫不猶豫給了100 分滿分，也是他唯一評鑑滿分的干邑白蘭地。
太師龍始創於1905 年，如今該家族酒廠已傳承至第4代，作為世界上最大的干邑珍釀收藏家族之一，太師龍擁有最古老的酒窖，收藏着上百年歷史的原液“ 生命之水”，就連1860年這樣老年份的珍藏也有。
太師龍干邑主要分為多個系列，除了29號XO干邑的經典系列，不能錯過的還有被譽為干邑界中的寶石——極罕干邑；有不少所謂干邑專家也只有耳聞未見真身，是目前太師龍最昂貴的一款干邑。此酒的基酒來自該家族第一批存放在家族酒窖的“ 生命之水”調配而來，屬於干邑中的 Hors d’Age 級別，是基酒最古老的一類干邑。
Tesseron Lot N°29 XO
All of Tesseron’s cognacs are rated as XO meaning “Extra Old”, providing to numerous three Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. Their Lot N°29 XO is the only cognac ever to be awarded 100 points by Robert Parker, the world’s most influential wine critic.
Tesseron was founded in 1905 and now is run by the fourth generations in the family. For over 110 years, this vineyard has been revered in the region,as owners of the largest stocks of great old cognac in existence. The family’s legendary innermost cellar “paradis”, lie incredible treasures of eau de vie dating from 19th century, such as those in 1860.
Tesseron have released some particularly exceptional blends under their own name, including the famous Tesseron Lot N°29 XO. There is also Tesseron’s ultimate cognac, the jewel of their cognac collection, Tesseron Extrême Grande Champagne Cognac. It is so rare that most critics have only spoken of it, let alone having sipped a single drop of this ultimate cognac. This most expensive Tesseron cognac is rated as Hors d’Age, which is amongst the oldest Cognacs you can get.
拿破崙曾說過，“干邑是出口到海外讓外國人享用的，雅文邑則要留給法國人自己。”只因口味更沉鬱複雜的雅文邑更適合法國人的品味，曾一度成為法國人的“ 私藏”白蘭地。 雅文邑是法國乃至歐洲地區最早的蒸餾酒，甚至比干邑區要早兩百年，酒界都說若以女性比喻，干邑是青春活潑的少女，散發的是陽光的魅力，而雅文邑則是一個可帶回家見父母的成熟世故女性。對於要求高的白蘭地愛好者，雅文邑最具魅力的地方，是其低度的“生命之水”——它在橡木桶裡陳年以後，單靠期間緩慢的酒精蒸發，已經能讓酒降到裝瓶所需的烈度40度，所以它完全可以不加水、不加焦糖就直接裝瓶，令口味比干邑更純粹、完整及無添加，這樣直接的酒又怎不令酒癡死心塌地？
Armagnac: A Living Heritage
Legend has it that the great Napoléon Bonaparte once said, “while cognac is sold overseas to foreigners, Armagnac should be left home for French to enjoy.” Some believe that Armagnac has a fuller, more complex and robust flavor than Cognac, which suits the French more. In fact, armagnac is the oldest brandy distilled in France and even in Europe – at least 200 years older than Cognac. This specific genre of brandy is often distilled to be lower in alcohol than Cognac. It is also aged longer – stored in black oak barrels,the alcohol in armagnac will slowly evaporate without any dilution. After years of aging, the aromatic flavor is intensified, the color is darkened, and the spirit becomes richer and maturer. The natural degree of aging is generally around 40% by volume. There is no need to add water or caramel color into armagnac before it is bottled and savoured by die hard fans.
與Laberdolive同樣優秀的還有Domaine d’Aurensan及Château de Léberon，兩者同樣為古老的雅文邑莊，已傳至第四代，同樣是無添加任何物料的原始風貌，那種複雜深沉的味道，絕對能令一眾白蘭地粉絲愛不惜口。
Three Not-To-Be-Missed Armagnacs
Many armagnac domaines may produce armagnac from a singleyear or single cask. Although the distilled spirits cannot reflect the weatherconditions of the year, armagnac produced by the same distiller of thesame domaine can taste different from year to year. Most domaineswould release vintage-dated armagnac made from the casks of the mostvaluable eau de vie. Amongst all the brands, Laberdolive is considered thegold standard of armagnac, winning numerous awards around the globe.Their bottles can be found in all the top Michelin-starred restaurants inEurope. French President Jacques Chirac brought along a Laberdolive1972 to toast on a state visit to China, making the brand even morefamous. Now the domaine is managed by the fifth generation of theLaberdolive family.
Another two renowned armagnac vintages, Domaine d’Aurensanand Château de Léberon are equally legendary and now managing by thefourth generation, both producing beautifully fragrant, rustic spirits thatfascinate and captivate all kinds of brandy lovers.