Three crucial elements ensure the fresh, deep and well-rounded nature of Martell cognac; Ugni blanc grapes exclusively from the Champagne region of France. Mushed into eau-de-vie, this is arduously matured for up to a century, at times. Lastly, the wonderful blending process to create layered compositions of honeysuckle, hazelnuts, dried figs, vanilla, butterscotch, cloves and cinnamon.
Sarah Lian recently met with new Martell brand ambassador Jean-Baptiste Gourvil to rediscover this special brand. Hero bottles like the Martell XO (consisting of 35-year-old eau-de-vie), Martell Chanteloup (superb length of finish) and the L’or De Jean Martell (a masterful blend of minimum of over 400 eau-de-vie with some over 100 years of age) made special appearances. And so did the younger bottles, like the Martell Noblige and Martell VSOP Aged In Red Barrels. The former was reimagined as a smoke-infused Whisky (but actually Cognac) Sour Cocktail, while the latter as the Martell Sidecar. The best drinks have the ability to invigorate the senses and stimulate interaction. The House of Martell is one of the grand masters and they certainly excel in this respect.