What on earth have a metal worker and the house of Remy Martin got in common? Well, you might be surprised to know that it’s a collaboration for their latest limited edition, the Remy Martin X Steaven Richard.

The making of the limited edition Remy Martin X Steaven Richard XO Cognac

Renowned metalwork artist, Richard, was given the momentous task of creating a redesign of the iconic Remy Martin centaur emblem, and to redesign the decanter for their classic XO. The result is a highly sought after Remy Martin Limited Edition of their globally loved Remy XO.

Rémy Martin x Steaven Richard & the Purchase of Brillet Cognac
The redesigned, texturized decanter by metal artist, Steaven Richard

A unique limited edition XO

Steaven Richard is certainly no stranger to working with some of the most famous brand names in France. Six years ago he was commissioned by Karl Lagerfeld to create a silver nickel textured parquet floor for his studio. And it was during this assignment that he invented some bespoke tools that he’s also used for the Remy Martin Limited Edition XO project.

Rémy Martin x Steaven Richard & the Purchase of Brillet Cognac
Metalwork artist, Steaven Richard

The work of art, re-designed XO decanter, and gift set have been created by infusing brass to create a unique golden patina. The decanter itself, whilst remaining true to the much-adored and well-known design, now features a brand new texture and design.

Rémy Martin x Steaven Richard & the Purchase of Brillet Cognac
The reimagined centaur logo of Remy Martin

The technique used is called anamorphosis. He said of his work, “I  took inspiration from Rémy Martin’s centuries-old connection with the soil – its love for nature – and something happened. Something approaching a revelation: from the verticality of the vines that climb to the sky, this piece reaches out towards the stars”.

Rémy Martin x Steaven Richard & the Purchase of Brillet Cognac
The unique fusing of brass to create a striking display

The limited edition Remy Martin X Steaven Richard XO will be available to purchase in global travel retail in Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. You can find out more information about the specific product in the Cognac Expert shop.

Remy Cointreau to Buy Cognac House, JR Brillet

And this latest Cognac release by Remy Martin is certainly not the only big news of the moment. Because it seems that Remy Cointreau, the parent company of Remy Martin, is poised to purchase the high-end family run house of JR Brillet Cognac.

Now this, we have to say, is very interesting. This certainly isn’t the first time Remy have bought out other Cognac houses. Back in 2013 they acquired Larsen Cognac in a deal that allowed the brand to continue in name. And now, with Brillet, it seems that the drinks giant will further increase its market share of eaux-de-vie sold around the world.

Read more about our analysis of the Remy purchase of Larsen Cognac in our article, Why Larsen Cognac Sold Brand and Stock.

So why does Remy take over other Cognac houses?

Well, the official comment is that the purchase will, “increase the value of an inventory of eaux-de-vie and vineyards of the highest quality”. So let’s take a look at this in more detail.

1. To increase its stocks of eaux-de-vie

The Cognac market is enjoying unprecedented growth. However, there isn’t—and never will be—an infinite supply of the raw product. The house of Brillet has a good stock of high end eau-de-vie within its cellars. So by purchasing the house Remy automatically become owners of this. 

However…! Remy Martin Cognacs are all Fine Champagne. In other words, all their Cognacs are made from only Grande and Petite Champagne wines. So anything hailing from a different terroir wouldn’t be used to create any of the current Remy Martin Cognacs.

Demand goes up.. but is there enough?
Demand for eaux-de-vie continues to rise, but is there enough to go around?

Of course, Remy Cointreau aren’t simply about Remy Martin. Let’s not forget that last year they purchased the craft brandy company, St Remy. This is another burgeoning market, with St Remy products being exported to over 70 countries. Perhaps the stocks of eau-de-vie from terroirs other than Grande or Petite Champagne might be earmarked for use here? The purchase of St Remy is certainly a fascinating one that we discuss in more detail in our article about The Niche Market Ploy of Remy Cointreau. 

Rémy Martin x Steaven Richard & the Purchase of Brillet Cognac
The craft brandy, St Remy

2. To increase its vineyards

Well, to us this seems the least likely of reasons. Because Remy tend to purchase eaux-de-vie from growers in the region, and then carry out the aging process themselves. So surely the acquisition of more vineyards can’t be a driving reason for the buyout?

Cognac vineyard
It’s unlikely the acquisition of further vineyards is a driver for the purchase of Brillet Cognac

3. Public perception of the brand, Brillet

There’s one problem with being a big fish in a big pond. And that’s when consumers begin to crave the more artisan, craft products. And let’s face it, this is the new “must have” in the complete liquor industry right now. 

From gin to beer, rum to Cognac, craft is the in vogue trend of the moment.

And many of the most discerning consumers of Cognac consider the big guns of Hennessy, Courvoisier, and Remy Martin et al to be far too mainstream, preferring to imbibe in Cognacs from the smaller, family run houses.

By adding the connoisseur brand of Brillet to their portfolio, Remy Cointreau would then have their upper premium product of Louis XIII, Remy Martin as their Fine Champagne quality product, Brillet as their connoisseur brand, and St Remy as a popular, yet slightly cheaper version.

Rémy Martin x Steaven Richard & the Purchase of Brillet Cognac
Louis XIII Cognac is Remy Cointreau’s high end, prestigious luxury brand

Of course, this is only the humble opinion of Cognac Expert. But remember, you read it here first.

The deal between Remy Cointreau and JR Brillet Cognac is still in the administrative phase. The final signing is expected to take place in autumn 2019. The drinks group enjoyed a sales growth of 7.8% last year, and double digit growth for its Cognac portfolio.  The acquisition of Brillet and its good stocks of eau-de-vie will undoubtedly help with their upcoming plans for expansion.

Sources: remymartin.com, drnionline.com, thespiritsbusiness.com

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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