The saying, ‘small is beautiful’ certainly rings true when it comes to describing the terroir of Cognac known as Borderies. Covering only 4,000 hectares, the region is located on a plateau comprising clay and flint stones that have resulted from the decomposition of the limestone found in the area.
Thanks to the plateau, the exposure of the grapes to the sun is excellent, and the chalky soil allows the roots to go extremely deep and soak up all the goodness from down below. These unique conditions make for a very specific aroma in the eaux-de-vie from the Borderies.
There is a characteristic floral bouquet in Cognacs from the Borderies, specifically notes of violet. The taste often has hints of nuts, making these blends especially subtle and light. Located north of the Charente river, around the town of Burie, this terroir is the smallest and therefore the most sought after of the Cognac growth areas.
For the Cognac geeks out there (which we happily admit to being) an interesting fact about eaux-de-vie that starts life from this region is that it reaches optimum quality after a shorter aging period than that grown in Grande and Petite Champagne.
But enough science. Let’s get straight down to business with what we consider to be some of the very best Borderies Cognacs out there right now.
Prunier 1977 Vintage Borderies Cognac
If we had to choose a single word to describe this vintage Cognac, it would simply be, ‘wow’! It’s a cask strength delight (at 51.5o), resulting in a powerful, complex, yet truly balanced and rounded Cognac that any connoisseur will be enchanted to experience.
Prunier Cognac themselves are masters at producing vintage year Cognacs. Still based in the same medieval house in the heart of Cognac where they started over two centuries ago, this family run house certainly knows their stuff when it comes to creating the very best age-specific Cognacs.
Discover more about Prunier 1977 Vintage Borderies Cognac.
Martell Cordon Bleu Cognac
The house of Martell needs no introduction, and the iconic Cordon Bleu is a piece of Cognac history in itself. An XO quality, this predominantly Borderies Cognac was created back in 1912 by Edouard Martell. And it’s tantamount to how great it is that the recipe has remained unchanged for over a century.
Complex and rich, we love the simplistic packaging of this classic Cognac. After all, with a product of this quality, it doesn’t need any pomp and circumstance – the tasting experience simply does all the talking.
Our personal tasting notes
Nose: Floral and elegant.
Palate: Round and smooth, rather masculine, with hints of fruit and wood. The finish is long and satisfying.
Discover more about the Martell Cordon Bleu Cognac.
Camus Borderies XO
Located in the heart of the Borderies cru, it should come as no surprise that Camus Cognac are experts the art of mixing and blending the unique eaux-de-vie from this terroir. The Camus XO Borderies Cognac was introduced in the year 2000 – and at the time was the first single Borderies Growth Cognac ever!
The recipe has remained unchanged – and this award winning Cognac is as revered today as it was when it first came to market. A gold medal winner at the World Spirits Awards 2009, and awarded a gold medal in the XO Ultra Premium category in the 2017 Cognac Masters, it offers exceptional value for money for such a quality Cognac
Our tasting notes
Nose: Floral, sweet, with notes of vanilla, almonds, violets, and hazelnuts
Palate; Fruity and mellow, with flavors of sweet pastry, cinnamon, old port, and dried fruits
Discover more about the Camus XO Borderies Cognac
Bache Gabrielsen Vintage 1971 Borderies Cognac
Bache Gabrielsen have excelled with this 1971 vintage that showcases all that is great about the Borderies cru. This medium sized family run Cognac house are super-focused on producing Cognacs that are not only of fabulous quality, but that also have high appeal to both the connoisseur and the younger, trendier market. It comes as no surprise then that Bache Gabrielsen made a Vintage Cognac from the Borderies, extra exclusive!
Discover more about the Bache Gabrielsen Vintage 1971 Cognac (this bottle is 35cl in size).
Domaine du Puits Faucon XO Cognac
Not yet heard of Domaine du Puits Faucon XO? Well, this is a great way to discover what this small, artisan house has to offer, AND to immerse yourself in the delight that is a pure Borderies XO. This Cognac carries a Gold medal from the renowned Paris Concours Generale Agricole. It offers outstanding value for money. With only 33 hectares of vineyards, this small estate still owns the authentic charm of Cognac making.
Domaine du Puits Faucon is what the French call a “Vigneron Independant”, meaning the entire production is done on site, nothing is sourced elsewhere. This way, the process of growing, distilling, aging, and blending is quality controlled by the producer, which guarantees pure excellence.
Discover more about the Domaine du Puits Faucon XO Cognac
Martell Reserve Borderies Cognac
OK, so Martell make our list for a second time, but with good reason. The Martell Reserve Borderies Cognac is both aromatic and seductive. If you’re looking for a Cognac that takes you on a tasting journey, yet at an amazingly realistic price, then give this one a go.
Nose: Seduces with fragrances of white flowers, a hint of honey, a slight offering of almond paste and of frangipane.
Palate: Round and ‘fluffy’ at first, followed by the bite of quince and plums, ending with gorgeous notes of warm pastries.
Discover more about the Martell Reserve Borderies Cognac
A.E. Dor Quatre Cru Set
The A.E. Dor Quatre Cru Set contains four 20cl bottles of Cognacs from different crus – Borderies (of course), Fins Bois, Grande Champagne, and Petite Champagne. This is a wonderful opportunity to contrast and compare the difference between the terroirs – and truly a great way to learn how unique Cognacs from the Borderies really are.
A.E. Dor is a very small house, and this is the perfect choice to discover how great their Cognacs are. One thing that’s particularly exciting about their Cognacs is that they own a stock of truly old eaux-de-vie – some it pre-phylloxera (the insect-born disease that blighted the vines of Cognac during the 1800s). If you’ve not yet discovered their wares, then we highly recommend them.
Read more about the different bottles in the A.E. Dor Quatre Cru Set. It’s a cool gift for someone who wants to get into Cognac.
And finally: The Ordonneau 3 Bottle Set !
Ordonneau Cognac are the experts when it comes to Borderies Cognacs, as all of their products are solely from this terroir. And the Ordonneau 3 Bottle Set (each one a full sized bottle) provides a wonderfully economic way to discover three of their offerings.
1 x Ordonneau VSOP – a delightfully round Cognac, with many of the eaux-de-vie that make up the blend having been aged far in excess of what’s necessary for such a quality, some being over 3 decades in the making.
1 x Ordonneau Extra – a Napoleon quality with each of the components within the blend being around 25 years old. This has led to a truly rounded, characterful Cognac that offers the classi flowery delights of the Borderies region.
1 x Ordonneau Tres Vielle Reserve Cognac – the oldest produced by the house, with delicious aromas, an ever-changing palate, and the length of finish you’d expect from such a well aged Cognac
Discover more about the Ordonneau 3 Bottle Set
All of these Borderies Cognacs are available to purchase in the Cognac Expert online shop – the perfect place to purchase all kinds of ‘difficult to find’ Cognacs direct from Cognac, France, and have them delivered to your door – wherever in the world you might live.