At the home of Cognac Antoine-Ernest Dor in Jarnac, one finds some of the oldest eaux-de-vie in the whole of the Charente region.
Jacques Rivière, who has been the key keeper to the A.E. Dor cellars since 1981, is the guardian of some rare and treasured bottles of cognac. There are not many people who have witnessed such grand vintages. Here in this serene cellar lays a line-up of valuable cognacs from the pre-phylloxera era: 1811 Roi de Rome, 1840 Louis-Philippe, Prince Albert from 1834, Prince Imperial from 1858, 1889 l’Excellence maison and the jewel in the crown – The Soleil d’Austerlitz which is over 200 years old, certified from 1805.
Something that most of us can only dream of…
Jacques Rivière himself remembers all too well the day he tasted the magnificent eaux-de-vie from 1805. He explains how the dark colors swirled in the glass and the flavors exploded on his tongue – leaving him a memory that will stay with him until the day he dies.
But the cellar itself has not been without its own share of drama. In 1995 the center beam supporting the roof came crashing down. But somehow not one of the precious bottles was harmed. A miracle? Perhaps. In any case, for those of us who appreciate the wonders of cognac, it’s a relief to know that these treasures remained unharmed.