Pierre Lecat Cognac may be a new cognac brand – with the first bottles arriving earlier this year – the history of their cognac, however, dates back some eighty years and is very much a family affair.
The family-owned farm in Saint Fraigne has supplied quality eaux-de-vie to some of the major cognac houses since the 1970s. Yet during all these years they have also kept and aged their stock in their own cellars. The concept for their own brand, Pierre Lecat Cognac, was born only a few years ago.
Named after him in recognition, Pierre Lecat was the stepfather to Jean Luc Lassoudière (grandfather of the current owners of the farm). He was a well-known local watchmaker who, following the phylloxera crisis of the 1870s, greatly helped the family reinstate, cultivate, and grow the vineyards to their former glory so they could produce enough eaux-de-vie of the right quality to sell to other cognac houses.
Contemporary and elegant
The contemporary and elegant logo and packaging of Pierre Lecat Cognac is also intrinsically linked to its history, name, and the ethos behind the company. Its theme is based on time and quality. The logo represents a clock and the elaborate mechanisms found in a pocket watch.
The Pierre Lecat range of cognacs consists of VS Instinct, VSOP Experience, and XO Memoire. Pierre Lecat cognacs are meticulously created with quality craftsmanship and care as the primary concern; this is a brand that is all about small volumes of quality cognac. The approximate retail prices (depending where you buy the bottles) are 50 USD for Lecat VS Instinct, 65 USD for Lecat VSOP Experience, and 165 USD for XO Memoire.
With twenty-three hectares of vineyards and sustainable farming methods, great attention to detail is applied to every step of the cognac-making process. Made with mostly Ugni Blanc, but with some Colombard and Folle Blanche grapes, the eaux-de-vie are distilled with the lees and the cognacs are matured in Limousin oak casks.
They are only in their first year and Pierre Lecat has already won awards. For this very first blend, they were awarded medals at the Brussels Global Awards, at the IWSC, and at the Cognac Masters Awards in London for both the VSOP (silver) and XO (silver and silver outstanding).
Introducing Cognac writer Michelle Brachet
Presenting this new brand also gives us the opportunity to present a new expert and award-winning Cognac writer, Michelle Brachet, who was sent samples of Cognac Pierre Lecat to the UK to do an exclusive tasting and share her notes with our readers. Michelle will certainly be appearing more regularly on Cognac-Expert, her expertise in all things food and beverage is amazingly valuable to us!
Here are Michelle’s tasting notes:
I’m never happier than when tasting cognac, particularly new cognac that I don’t know. I love surprises and it’s even better when it turns out to be a very pleasant and enjoyable one! I’m going to begin by saying that all three Pierre Lecat cognacs were fabulous in their own ways – quality over quantity … absolutely.
To the eye, the VS Instinct is like a little bottle of sunshine with its vibrant and clear gold colour. On the nose, the initial aromas are sweet with light vanilla and gentle floral notes compliment the aromas of soft sweet fruits such as peach and pear.
This cognac is soft, mellow, and smooth in the mouth with a lovely warm and surprisingly long aftertaste. It is round and light, but with purpose. The VS Instinct has the taste of a five to ten-year-old-cognac.
To the eye, the VSOP Experience is a rich golden colour, like gold honey. It is sweet on the nose like the VS, but with more vanilla intensity. Notes of orange sit comfortably alongside more highly floral scents – rose for example – and there is also a hint of nuttiness, making it a nicely balanced and warming cognac. It is more robust on the palate compared with the VS and has a good enduring finish. The VSOP Experience has the taste of a ten to fifteen-year-old-cognac.
To the eye, the XO Memoire is beautifully clear and has a rich amber colour; it looks velvety before you even get it near your nose. On the nose it is immediately clear that the XO is going to be a smooth one reflecting its visual appearance.
The Pierre Lecat style already experienced with the VS and VSOP continues to develop here. The vanilla oak is more intense and the nutty aromas emerge alongside chocolate and more highly scented floral notes. Then you are presented with the warming aromas of the now crystalized orange, pear and ginger that sit within a definite yet delicate spicy aroma.
On the palate, it has all the intensity and authority of an XO and the aroma and taste balance is excellent; this is an elegant cognac. The finish is fantastically long and the XO Memoire has the taste of a twenty to twenty-five-year-old cognac. Tasting the XO Memoire is a very enjoyable experience from start to finish; it warms the cockles and feeds the soul as a good XO should.
All three Pierre Lecat cognacs have their own unique characteristics, but they are all smooth and elegantly finished. It has been a pleasure tasting and reviewing them and I’m sure that Pierre Lecat Cognac will do just fine in the world of cognac; they can certainly hold their own in my opinion!
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