In Their Own Words – Patrice Piveteau, Cellar Master, Cognac Frapin

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Frapin is one of the most highly rated houses in the Cognac region, with a range of elegant, classy bottlings that reflect the Grande Champagne terroir where its vineyards are based. I met up with cellar master Patrice Piveteau who was in the UK to launch the latest Multimillésime bottling from Cognac Frapin – No.6, a blend of eaux-de-vie from 1986, 1988 and 1991.

Patrice Piveteau, Cognac Frapin

Patrice Piveteau, cellar master at Cognac Frapin

‘We have 240 hectares of vineyards, all in Grande Champagne. We control everything and we start from the beginning

We distil on the lees – the idea is that there is something interesting that we want to capture. In Grande Champagne, the lees give a very long aftertaste’

Frapin is terroir, tradition, complexity, pleasure’

‘Some distilleries do everything with a computer; with us, we taste everything. It’s the reverse of the scientific way’

Cognac is not just a digestif any more; now it can be an aperitif or made into a cocktail’

At Frapin, we have a lot of dry cellars. And when the sun shines a lot, in a dry cellar the temperature is higher, and you lose more water than alcohol’

A good Cognac is a Cognac without too much wood. And it has to tell a story of complexity’

We started our Multimillésime bottlings in 2008. Our latest one is a blend of 1986, 1988 and 1991. The 1986 gives the fruit; the 1988 gives structure; and the 1991 offers fine elegance’

‘Sometimes people visit us and see all these Cognacs and say “I’m not an expert!” But I think everyone can taste two Cognacs and say that one is like this and one is like that

‘I know that every customer wants to know the age of each Cognac. But the age is not the problem; it’s about the quality in the glass. I just say to them “It’s about 20 years old!”’

To produce Château Fontpinot, you need a château; in Bordeaux, you just need a vineyard and a winery!’

Multimillésime No.6 from Cognac Frapin is available from The Whisky Exchange, priced at £150. Click here to buy one.

Posted in Cognac, In Their Own Words, SPIRITS & LIQUEURS

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