Change—any change— always takes time. And when that change is also within what has historically been a male-dominated industry, then inclusive diversity is always a little more drawn out. And although times are changing, when it comes to a prestige brand of Cognac for women, the 21st century girl has always been somewhat limited in choice. That is, until now. Cognac Expert is delighted to introduce an innovative new brand that’s absolutely in touch with its feminine side—the limited edition Monfleurie.
One only needs set eyes on the elegant crystal decanter to understand that this is a Cognac designed by a woman, created for women, and enjoyed by women. And the person behind this very individual offering is one – Olga Otrokhova.
Young, beautiful, and a million miles away from the “old man” image the industry has been trying to shrug off for the past decade, we were keen to find out more about the lady who’s brought a very feminine alternative to the top end luxuries that always seem to be targeted towards a male palate.
Monfleurie: a very different Cognac
Olga tells us she’s can’t really remember a time when she wasn’t fascinated by Cognac. But not only by the aromas and flavor; for her, it was also about the intricate art of how the best eau-de-vie was created. She’s the epitome, not only of a Cognac connoisseur, but also of the drive and passion it takes to bring about a unique product in an industry as specialized as that of Cognac.
Over the years Olga has sampled many, many different Cognacs. But never did she really come across one of distinction that captivated a genuinely sensitive taste profile. So, in true entrepreneurial style, she decided to create her own.
She says of her mission, “Of course, there are many lovely, quality brands of Cognac. But it was my desire to create something that was absolutely beautiful from top to bottom, from inside and out. During the journey that culminated in the collectible Cognac, Monfleurie, I took advice from many sources, including inspiration from top Parisian designers from the fashion houses of Hermes and Chanel”.
The journey begins
The first step was to learn, live, and breathe everything to do with the creation of Cognac. Immersing herself in the region of Grande Champagne, she refined her knowledge and rubbed shoulders with the great and good of the industry.
It was during this time that she decided the single estate expertise of Maison Boinaud would provide the key to bringing this very unique Cognac to market. With a Paradis cellar that boasts one of the world’s largest collections of Grande Champagne reserves, Olga found the treasure trove of flavors and aromas she’d hoped for—a cache that would bring to life her dream of creating a refined interpretation of a Cognac that would be held in the highest of esteem by connoisseurs.
60 years in the making
Selecting the very best eau-de-vie to bring a prestige brand to life is certainly something that can’t be hurried. So it makes sense that the process that brought the eventual blend to reality also took an extended period of time. The essence of this limited edition is a Grande Champagne eau-de-vie from a harvest that was distilled in 1960. And it’s taken until now for its wonderful floral aromas and rich flavors to age to perfection.
With this delight the building block chosen to be the heart of the Cognac, it was time for the wizardry of blending to commence. Hundreds of other eaux-de-vie were meticulously selected. These were expertly melded to establish a sensory masterpiece with a distinctly feminine angle. At last Olga was satisfied that her prestige blend would provide a taste experience perfectly suited to today’s contemporary woman.
So, talking of taste
Olga was keen that her creation would take one on a sensory journey to remember. The adventure begins with that of violets and iris. The palate itself brings a roller coaster of flavors, each merging seamlessly into the last, creating an essence of complexity that thrills as much as it satisfies. Delights such as crème brulée, orange confit, cinnamon, and baking spices are evident, yet in true tender fashion never, ever overwhelm.
The first launch
We’re excited that Olga tells us this launch is the first in a series of Monfleurie Cognacs. Each will be strictly limited in production—indeed this first, named L’Orchidee (the Orchid)—has a run of only two barrels.
The name, Monfleurie, translates to ‘my little flower’. Olga explained why, after much deliberation, she’d settled on this graceful French name:
“I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy the beauty of flowers, and I wanted to capture the delicacy of such blooms throughout the whole ethos of Monfleurie Cognac. From the bottle to the eau-de-vie itself it was vitally important that the theme embodied every aspect.
When it came to creating the actual Cognac it was a long journey. But together with Boinaud’s Master Blender we eventually discovered a unique floral nectar that brought my vision to life. I’m very happy to see how Cognac connoisseurs in the US recognize what an unusual bouquet characterizes this Grande Champagne blend”.
The Orchid edition is the premier offering of Monfleurie, each of which will be themed to a precious flower. The delicate elixir is housed within a hand blown French Crystal decanter and engraved by an artist from the Cognac region. The cap is the crowning glory, with an elegant orchid design. And, as one would expect of a Cognac of this caliber, each individually numbered bottle is lovingly cradled in a lacquered wooden presentation case.
Of course, just because Monfleurie Cognac has been designed to appeal to women doesn’t mean that the gentlemen out there won’t also appreciate its luxury. This is a high-end offering that genuinely rivals some of the most prestigious Cognacs on the market today. It would truly be a travesty if it was only tasted by half the Cognac community.
And while it may well be a blend that the 21st century woman will absolutely purchase for herself, there’s nothing to stop the chivalrous man (or woman) treating the lady in their life. After all, there’s nothing more sensual than being gifted something truly special. And, we have to say, the Monfleurie L’Orchidée is truly one of life’s little luxuries.
So for anyone scratching their head as to a unique luxury present that’ll be gratefully received, we can safely say that your search is at an end…
Discover more about the delight that is Monfleurie Cognac.