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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

March 29, 2020



The Confined Sessions
Duetting Cognacs

Not that we’re rationing what we have - yet, but I’ve decided that we’ll only try two little Cognacs today. There.

Ordonneau ‘Domaine de la Grolette Très Vieillie Réserve des Borderies’ (40%, OB, +/-2018)

Ordonneau ‘Domaine de la Grolette Très Vieillie Réserve des Borderies’ (40%, OB, +/-2018) Four stars and a half
Ordonneau are located in Charentes, right in the middle of the smallest appellation (a.k.a. cru)  in Cognac, namely les Borderies (the borders - of the heart of Cognac, actually). It is a rather small estate and their ‘Très Vieille Réserve’ is older than 25. I find it a bit sad that they would keep bottling this old Cognac at 40% vol. even if the general public still prefers lighter strengths – apparently. Colour: amber. Nose: oh what a shame that they kept it at 40%! Because this is an awesome nose, starting with warm tatin and the best maple syrup they have in C’nada, going on with many stewed and baked fruits, especially mangos and peaches, also flowers (dandelions, never cut or grub up dandelions, the bees need them in Spring), and becoming then pretty tertiary, with a good deal of rancio, prunes, fig wine, touches of copper (old kettle), tobacco, ham and camphor (hints). This is all pretty perfect, let’s just hope it won’t nosedive on our palates. Well you see what I mean. Mouth: oh, yes, only great spirits do stand 40% vol., and that is the case here. Love this blend of liquid caramel, liquorice, menthol, aniseed and all the jams. Quince, oranges, apples, pears, perhaps a little flower jelly… It’s to be wondered if the 40% aren’t a typo, this rather feels like 43. Huge difference indeed, seriously. Finish: what’s more, it’s even pretty long, rather on praline this time, still with liquorice and some even fresher orangey notes. More caramel again in the aftertaste. Comments: great Cognac by a little house – to be honest, I had never heard of them before. My bad.
SGP:641 - 89 points.

Good, I suppose we’d need one with quite some firepower to do fine against that little Ordonneau…

Vallein Tercinier 43 yo ‘Lot 75’ (46.9%, Maltbarn, Petite Champagne, 171 bottles, 2020)

Vallein Tercinier 43 yo ‘Lot 75’ (46.9%, Maltbarn, Petite Champagne, 171 bottles, 2020) Four stars and a half
Right, Petite Champagne, despite being called ‘Petite’, is six times larger than the Borderies. And twice the size of the ‘Grande’ Champagne, which, to the novice, doesn’t make any sense, does it? French logic at its best (but I’m sure there is a reason!) As for the house Vallein Tercinier, they need no introduction, do they. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it’s not often that a VT has a proper sparring partner, which is the case here. This Lot 75 is rather fresher (despite being older), rather more on fresh fruits (oranges, the usual peaches, prickly pears) and a notch earthier. It’s actually slower than the Ordonneau, but that may come from the higher strength. Its only after a good two minutes that some wonderful stewed fruits do take off (figuratively, that is), with even a feeling of a very prestigious white sangria. No, really, but we’re not talking sangria for tourists of course. Mouth: incredible, it’s almost harsh – at 43 years of age – but that wouldn’t last as a proper avalanche of citrus fruits falls over you after just twenty seconds. Blood oranges, tangerines… There’s also some flower jelly again, a little honey, soft liquorice, and touches of old oak. A very very faint touch of rusticity, but you just cannot not love the earthy side in the end. Gentian, liquorice wood and celeriac, love that. Finish: long, firm, unusually rooty. Citrus back in the aftertaste, which just always works, as I always say (right, right, S.) Comments: looks like this may end in a tie.
SGP:561 - 89 points.

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