We are absolutely delighted, and extremely proud, to announce the launch of Sélection Nº 1, especially bottled for us by André Petit et Fils.

Buy Sélection Nº 1 in our online shop.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

Sophie just got back from visiting Jacques Petit, our wonderful partner in crime in the neighboring village of Berneuil. Together, they prepared the very first bottle of our limited edition series. Bottle 1 of 150! So exciting.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

If anyone had told us when we first started Cognac Expert, that the day will come when we will present to fellow Cognac lovers our own unique limited edition Cognac, we simply wouldn’t have believed them.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

We were able to partner up with one of the most talented and charming Cognac producers of the region to bottle an XO of outstanding quality. The vision from the very beginning of Cognac Expert was to support small Cognac producers like Jacques and give their family brands an international platform. The sales of the edition directly benefit the producer.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

Sophie & Max’s Sélection Nº 1 is a rare Limited Edition. With only 150 bottles produced, this Cognac is dedicated to our friends and fellow Cognac lovers. Once it’s gone, there really will be no other chance to buy it. Needless to say, Sélection Nº 1 is only available to our readers, and only in the Cognac Expert online shop.

Let’s tell you a little more about Sélection Nº 1, Cognac-Expert’s first Limited Edition Cognac.

Key facts

Sélection Nº 1 was created in collaboration with André Petit & Fils Cognac, a truly traditional, artisan house whose Cognacs we love.

XO Extra Quality: The eaux-de-vie that make up this mature blend have been aged for up to 25 years, a quarter-century!

Multi-terroir blend: This means that the grapes that make up the eaux-de-vie used for this blend originate from multiple growth areas. In this case they come from the premier Petite Champagne, the Fins Bois, and Bons Bois terroirs. The art in Cognac blending is to find eaux-de-vie that complement each other and generate the perfect balance. We bow to the cellar master’s brilliance (more about him in a moment…).

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

Double-Distilled: Like all Cognac, this limited edition was double-distilled to release the most exquisite aromas from the wine of the grapes.

Barrel-Aged: Jacques selects from a myriad of oak barrels to age his eaux-de-vie in. His cellars are wonderfully authentic.

Hand-Picked: Some of the grape harvest still gets done by hand at the vineyards of André Petit & Fils. Jacques invites family and friends to help him pick the grapes during harvest season. This is a very rare thing to find when most harvests are done by machines nowadays.

Hand-Crafted: From the vine to the bottle: bottling, labeling, numbering, adding the wax for authenticity–every single step of the way is done by hand.

Limited run of only 150 bottles: We created a very rare limited edition of 150 bottles. Every bottle is numbered by hand, adorned with a golden stripe, and sealed with wax. Once the bottles are gone, they are gone…

Design: This unique bottle spells classic urban chic. We designed it ourselves, and hope it reflects the artisanal purity of this adventure. In our minds, Cognac is a modern spirit–a spirit that merges heritage with a luxurious craft.

Buy a limited edition bottle of Sélection Nº 1 in our online store and get it shipped directly to your doorstep.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

Small is beautiful

We make no secret of the fact that here at Cognac Expert we champion the small, artisan Cognac producer. Of course, we also enjoy offerings from the larger houses, we’ll never pretend otherwise. But living in this delightfully sleepy corner of South Western France, you can’t fail to notice that this is one place left on earth where tradition is still king. And it’s all about the powerful handover of knowledge from one generation to the next.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

We’re honored to have collaborated with the talented, historic house of André Petit Cognac for this venture, our first ever Cognac Expert Limited Edition Cognac. When Sophie went over to prepare the first edition bottle with Jacques, she felt reassured that here lies the true art of Cognac-making. It was so touching to see Jacques handle his antiquated equipment, the self-constructed device for labeling bottles, and his tiny cellar of oak barrels marked up with thick chalk.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

Jacques heated up the black wax that he uses to seal Selection Nº 1 in an old kitchen pot–this is as authentic as it gets. He carefully dipped in the tip of the bottle to give it that extra unique touch–no one bottle looks like the next.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

André Petit & Fils Cognac

Let’s take a look at this traditional Cognac house in a little more detail.

Located in Berneuil, this tiny Cognac house is famous (or should we say infamous) within the industry for turning their back on the towering might of Hennessy back in the 1960s.

Indeed, at a time when the world’s largest selling Cognac house was increasing its buying power of eaux-de-vie from many smaller establishments, André Petit ceased their contract with the big gun, and said that from now on they would produce their own Cognac under their own name. And whatever way you look at it, such a move takes balls…

But way, way further back than that, it was in the year 1850 when one Monsieur Goulard, a simple vineyard worker, decided to build a Cognac distillery. He was supported by his cousin, who worked in the Hennessy distillery, and through grit and determination the two men began putting their personal stamp on their own little section of the rolling Cognac vineyards.

This entrepreneurial man of his time was the grandfather of the current owner, Jacques Petit. The Cognac house took on the name of Petit in 1921 (the name ‘Petit’ being one brought about by marriage). And until 1965 the house made most of their income by selling eaux-de-vie to Hennessy. It was Albert Petit who made the astonishingly brave move to stop the Hennessy contract. But what a great step that was.

Today, owner and cellar master, Jacques, continues to create Cognac in the method of his forefathers. Amazingly he and his small team still harvest by hand, and during the distillation process his pot-stills continue to be heated over an open fire. If ever you could be drinking a Cognac that really does take you back in time, then it has to be one created by the loving hand of Jacques Petit.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

In fact, the methods used by Jacques Petit are so very traditional that he’s considered within the industry to be somewhat ‘radical’. And we think that’s something to be applauded (not to mention somewhat amusing, that true tradition could ever be considered radical).

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

The thing is, Jacques, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, believes in the uniqueness of every single year’s Cognac harvest. His opinion is that each and every year has a truly distinct character, captivated by the grapes themselves thanks to the weather and growing conditions. He also accepts the fact that Mother Nature is a fickle beast, and therefore some year’s harvests will produce better Cognac than others.

It’s this unique approach that makes the Cognacs of André Petit one that the connoisseur can truly appreciate. And one of the very reasons that we chose Jacques to create Sélection Nº 1, Cognac Expert’s very first limited edition Cognac.

Sélection Nº 1 Limited Edition XO Cognac

Sélection Nº 1 is not simply an XO quality Cognac. It’s an ‘Extra’, meaning that every single component in the blend has been aged for many more years than what’s legally required for an XO. In fact, each eaux-de-vie has spent up to a quarter of a century gently languishing and aging within oak barrels. For us, this is genuinely a little bit of Cognac history. The blend originates from three different growth areas, the premier Petite Champagne, Fins Bois, and Bons Bois terroirs, lending this XO an extraordinary balance and smoothness.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

Cognac Expert’s unique offering is available in one place only: And that’s our online store. The cost per bottle is $130 US. Buy it now!

Selection Nº 1 is the first to be launched in what will be a series of limited edition Cognacs designed to bring such artisan producers to the attention of a wider global audience. The idea is that the sales directly benefit the producers and allow them to maintain their Cognac brands.

Launch Day: "Sélection Nº 1" Limited Edition X.O. by Sophie & Max

Remember, there’s only 150 bottles available, buy Sélection Nº 1 now. Once it’s gone, it really is gone. Forever!

Discover more about the Making Of Sélection Nº 1.

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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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