Frapin chateau Fontpinot XO Single Vineyard Cognac

  • Rating: 9
  • Value: 9
Type: , , ,
Proof: 82 Proof (41 %)
Age: 20 Years Old
Price: $125 750 ML
Price Range:

One of the more outstanding cognacs out there for the money. Not just this XO – which is arguably the sweet spot between excellence and price/value, but the whole portfolio.

Notes: Dating back to 1270 AD, Frapin is a single-family estate in Cognac, in one of the choice appellations ( production areas), the Grand Champagne AOC. Distilled over lees and cellared in a dry cellar, the Fontpinot XO is a very distinctive and lovely cognac. While the legal minimum for an XO Cognac is ten years, Frapin XO is twice that. Frapin has a number of expressions of its cognacs, all of which seem to be lovely (I never had a less-than-stellar one from the many I have tried), but the XO is one of my favorites for balancing both quality and value.

Appearance: Clear and slightly viscous or saplike in appearance, color like Baltic amber gold or fallen leaves. On swirling, the Cognac leaves a light oily coating on the glass, very uniform.  The meniscus is very even and recedes slowly, with large droplets slowly forming and long legs at intervals while the rest of the edgeline slowly recedes like icing.

First Impression: Heavy musky smell of rancio and almost jam or membrio notes of fruit and baking spices.Notes of rancio, saddle soap, old leather, allspice, persimmons, dried figs, dates, and other dark fruit, Vietnamese cinnamon, touches of nutmeg,

Taste: Delicious, multilayered and subtle. Slightly sweet, lovely, oily entry loaded with rancio, dark fruit notes, and a touch of sweetness envelope the tongue like a gentle embrace. Spiciness then follows on with hints of old leather, tobacco, oak and dried grapes, leaving a sense of age, gravitas, and delight in equal measure.

Drinks: Frankly, this cognac should be enjoyed on its own in a decent nosing glass ( not a brandy snifter btw, but a Riedel, NEAT, or similar proper glass > That is not to say it does not make wonderful cognac cocktails or substantially elevate one, just that it is delightful on its own and given proper attention and reflection.

Bottle: As with many of the Frapin cognac series, it is a simple but good quality tall cylindrical clear glass bottle with tasteful labels and graphics executed in an easy-to-read script. A slightly weighted decanter-type bottom and a long neck make for good balance and handling. Silkscreen of the Chateau between the label and the shoulder with a pewter-colored foil neck capsule. A bright silver-topped stopper using a real, natural cork is a nice finishing ( or beginning) touch to a subtle, elegant package.

Other: While the prevailing metric for price seems to be roughly $10 a year for bourbon, rum, and tequila, about $20 per year for Scotch, and even more for most cognacs, Frapin consistently delivers an amazing quality and value for the money at all their marks compared to any other spirit. It is a very much overlooked gem in the spirit world!


Final Thoughts: One of the few consistently excellent AND outstanding for the price portfolios of Cognac left. Always a delight to the nose and palette and not breaking the bank. One of the undiscovered jewels of a cognac house.

Website: www.frapin

A well-laid-out and mildly informative website. Good overview of the many cognacs in their extensive portfolios.



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