Cognac - Pierre Ferrand Ambre
Pierre Ferrand Ambre
Pierre Ferrand Château de Bonbonnet, Ars, France
Importer: W. J. Deutsch and Sons
PROOF: 80 (40%)
TYPE: Cognac, VSOP - X.O. range
AGE: Varies around 8-12 years Old
PRICE: $ 45.00
Notes: The youngest expression in a long line of cognacs , the others being Reserve, Reserve Dieux, Selection de Anges, Abel, Ancestrale, and their most prestigious Memoires (Vintages 1914,1970,1971,1973) all the cognacs use only Grand Champagne grapes - many others in the industry only use them in their much more expensive bottlings.
Double distilled in somewhat unusual onion headed copper pot cognac / alembic stills from a base wine with lees (similar to beer with lees -meaning aged unfiltered with particles of wine it in to give it more flavor and depth) it is then aged in French Limousin Oak casks until ready to be blended.
Appearance: Attractive golden wheat/dark straw gold color, leaves thin coat on swirling. Could be mistaken for a bourbon in color. On swirling it starts with a scalloped edgeline then forms very thin legs or tears.
First Impression: Pears, citrus, caramel, violets, heirloom roses, and some oak and tobacco. A slightly sweet, and intoxicating to the nose and palete. Quite distinctive but understated somewhat light and aromatic, almost delicate, nose to it. Not the usual fruit bomb you find in many more common cognacs.
Taste: Delicate and refined, with intense notes of pear, tree fruits, vanilla, and to a lesser degree of nutmeg, cinnamon and oak. Lovely warm lingering finish is long and downright sensual.
Drinks: We tried the drinks mentioned on the website, all of them were good, if not exciting. Worked well in a Black Pagoda (basically a brandy Manhattan -see Gary Regan's Bartenders Bible) and everything else we tried. Subtle, nuanced and delicious in anything we made with it.
Bottle: Simple clear glass cognac / brandy bottle (not the bell or apple shaped with a long neck), somewhat distinctive Parchment colored oval/lozenge shaped label with gold letters, gold neckwrap and real cork with plastic cap.
Other: Twice-distilled in copper alembic pot stills and aged in French oak casks.
Final Thoughts: Almost a polar opposite in terms of style from most of the mass marketed brands - a very lovely delicate yet complex cognac- especially for the money. If I was asked to guess the age and price I would have doubled both. Outstanding! On reflection, the difference between it and the more familiar cognacs in America is similar to the differences between a California Red fruit bomb type wine and a old style Bordeaux - one (IMHO) is brash and overdone, the other is subtle complex, lovely and nuanced - your choice.
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