We’re truly excited to announce the launch o Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac, an EXTRA quality Cognac from an extra special producer. Sélection N° 2 was specially selected by Sophie and Max and is exclusively available to Cognac Expert readers.
Be one of the first to buy Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac.
The Cognac producer behind this limited edition is Domaine de Birius, an artisan house with a long, fascinating history. For the second Sélection in the series, Sophie and Max have had the great pleasure of collaborating with Elodie Bouyer and her parents Anne and and Philippe. Elodie is among the youngest cellar masters in Cognac. She brings a fresh air to the art of Cognac-making, which becomes apparent in her blends.
Max, Elodie, and Sophie after bottling the first batch
This award-winning family business is exactly what we champion here at Cognac Expert: passionate, talented, innovative, and true to a longstanding family tradition. Not to mention that Elodie and her parents are committed to practicing sustainable and responsible farming and production methods. Birius is a certified sustainable winery.
Buy your individually numbered bottle of Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac now.
Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac: Key Facts
Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 has been carefully selected to offer an original, fresh, complex, and delightfully gentle taste experience. “Pure & dry” best describes the character of this Cognac. It is a newly created blend made up of three particular vintages distilled by Elodie’s grandfather at the time.
The assembling of these eaux-de-vie was done by Elodie herself, who has become an outstanding master blender. We are more than proud to feature this EXTRA Cognac as our second Limited Edition.
The Cognac is a blend of eaux-de-vie from the Petite Champagne vineyards of Birius Cognac. The Petite Champagne is considered the second prime growth area next to the Grande Champagne. It is characterized by large amounts of clay and chalky soil, which forces the vines to grow extremely deep roots and absorb more minerals, which allows for a superior quality of the grapes. Today, the Domaine de Birius comprises of 33 hectares of Petite Champagne vineyards.
Beautiful sculptures by Elodie’s grandfather, Jack Bouyer, adorn the estate
EXTRA Age Quality
Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac is legally described as an ‘Extra Old’ (XO) Cognac, a Cognac in which all the eaux-de-vie were aged for a minimum of 10 years. An EXTRA Cognac is a way of describing a Cognac that is considerably older than 10 years of age.
For this particular Sélection, the oldest of the eaux-de-vie is from the wonderful harvest of 1975, and each complimentary vintage–1982 and 1989–has been aged in oak barrels for three decades and more. Elodie certainly chose, and perfectly married, these wonderfully old eaux-de-vie.
Double-distilled and Barrel-aged
As with all Cognacs, the wines of the harvests were distilled twice before being placed in oak barrels and stored in the cellars of the Birius estate. Over the decades, and carefully monitored by the family, the aging process has taken place–something that cannot be rushed. Patience is what makes a remarkable Cognac.
Exclusive and Limited
When we say limited, we really mean it. There are only 500 of these bottles, simply because the blend of these three particular vintages cannot be recreated. This is a project that spans three generations, from Elodie all the way back to her grandfather Jack. To honor this time passed and the amount of love that went into creating this Cognac, each bottle was individually numbered by hand, adorned with a golden stripe, and hand-sealed with wax.
For this second in our Sélection series, we chose a creamy white wax, as it best accompanies the elegance, purity, and sophistication of this Cognac. It also reflects the chalky white limestone found in the ground of the Petite Champagne, the region’s architecture, and in Jack Bouyer’s sculptures.
Sustainably and Ethically Produced
The whole ethos behind Birius Cognac is to work in harmony with nature and the environment. The estate is a certified sustainable vineyard. Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac has been produced in a manner wholly committed to practicing environmentally friendly and responsible viticulture.
As with Sophie & Max Sélection N° 1, we personally designed everything about this Cognac. From choosing the classic bottle shape to the golden stripe and the label, Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac is the perfect partner bottle to N° 1.
Our idea is to develop a series of bottles that will perfectly complement each other when standing side by side. The design embodies both contemporary elegance and the simplicity of the artisan liquor cradled within. The label boasts luscious gold and embossing.
Thanks to the extended aging process of each of the three Petite Champagne eau-de-vie, Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac is naturally a deliciously dark shade. It’s a delicious deep brown with golden-red flashes that catch the light as you contemplate the delights that your senses are about to revel in.
When it comes to aromas, Sélection N° 2 really does bring you some of the most unique you can hope for. Indulge in the luxury hints of raw cocoa, fruit, and saffron. The very subtle rancio is rare for such a truly well-aged Cognac, giving it an incredibly light and pure character. The nose of this Cognac is complex, with a myriad of scents.
With a light and elegant palate, Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 boasts a touch of spice, subtle fruit and flower aromas, and a dry finish with a hint of smoke. Distinguishing flavors include pear wine, saffron, pepper, and clove–a gentle, very pure, and subtly spicy taste experience. The finish lingers on the palate for a long time.
About Cognac Birius
Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac stands for what Cognac Expert champions: To showcase small, artisan Cognac houses that our global audience might not otherwise get the chance to even become aware of.
Let’s talk a little more about the wonderfully traditional house of Birius Cognac. This multi-award winning family winery is today in the very capable hands of Elodie, Anne, and Philippe Bouyer. Domaine de Birius is located 20 kms from the town of Cognac itself, near Pons, in Haute Saintonge. It’s close to the ocean, and their vineyards extend over 33 hectares of prime Petite Champagne terroir. The location allows for maximum sunshine and low summer rainfall, giving them near perfect conditions in which to nurture and grow their grapes.
The story behind Birius Cognac is a fascinating one. The estate has been in the Bouyer family for over 10 generations. Their wine growing expertise has been handed down over 10 generations. Elodie’s grandfather, Jack Bouyer, was a sculptor. He carved his stone figures out of local limestone. He was so talented, and became so well known for his art that he was nicknamed the ‘Vitisculptuer Sanitongeais’.
It was he who carved the statue of the blindfolded lady in traditional Charentais costume standing on a Cognac barrel that became the symbol for the family and the Cognac brand of Birius. The original statue, entitled the ‘Allegorie du Cognac’, can still be seen on the Saint-Leger Highway, near Pons (the A10), where she stands a proud 3 meters in height. This symbolizes that for the Cognac grower, fortune is blind and the future is always uncertain. Weather conditions, Mother Nature, the economy, they all have a massive bearing on the fortunes of the Cognac farmer. If this doesn’t smile down on the producer, then he will not sell his Cognac. In such a case, the elixir will be stored in the barrel and wait for better days.
Love for the Environment
The whole team at Birius is committed to working in harmony with the land and the environment. In 1996 they made the commitment to practice sustainable and responsible viticulture. The vineyards are naturally grassed, treatments are limited to a strict minimum, and the Bouyers only use the most neutral products to lessen their impact on both mankind and the environment. It’s obviously working, as wild orchids flower each spring between the vines–tantamount proof of the quality of the soil and the natural nutrients that are harboured within.
In 2015, the Domaine de Birius was certified to be of “high environmental value”, an initiative developed by the French Ministry of Agriculture to promote environmentally friendly practices that are voluntarily practiced by farmers.
About the Bouyers
Born just in time for the 1990 grape harvest, Elodie Bouyer grew up watching her grandfather, Jack, and her father and mother, Philippe and Anne, tend the land and carry out every single aspect of the estate’s wine and Cognac creation.
As a little girl, she became acquainted with every single nook and cranny of the estate by playing hide and seek. During the summer months she would watch and listen to her father introducing visitors who were keen to understand more about the work they so lovingly carried out. So it makes perfect sense that, growing up in this environment, wine making and Cognac creation were to be her choice of profession. This steely young lady studied viticulture and then went off to Scotland to perfect her English and to further her knowledge about other liquors, such as whisky, gin, and beer.
Picture courtesy of Zen Production
Elodie recently married her Scottish fiancé in a wonderful wedding ceremony here in Charente. During the ceremony, the bride and groom shared a drink of Birius Cognac from the Quaich, a two-handled drinking cup and a Scottish tradition for weddings. Of course in Scotland it is filled with whisky.
We’re so happy to be able to collaborate with this amazing Cognac house, to be able to bring you our truly limited edition. And, of course, to expose the brilliance of Birius to our global audience of Cognac aficionados.
Sophie & Max Sélection is a series of artisan signature Cognacs selected by Sophie and Max for Cognac Expert. This Cognac range is designed to bring 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 family brands. Small producers still practice the true art of Cognac-making, some still harvest their grapes by hand, others practice sustainable farming. By featuring select artisan producers in the Sélection series, this heritage will hopefully be protected.
Both Sophie & Max Sélection N° 1 and Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 are of the most remarkable quality, very different in taste and aromas, but equally fascinating. We are extremely proud to be able to represent artisan producers to a world of international Cognac lovers and connoisseurs. Our gratitude goes to the producers for such meaningful collaborations.