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15 Jun

Cognac For Connoisseurs

By: Justine Teal Categories: Spirits

In the early 2000s, Francis Abécassis founded his brand and over the years has created several different labels under the Domaines Francis Abécassis name, all with the aim of making more affordable, exceptional aromatic expressions. Francis is a former wine producer in the South of France, who was unfortunately forced to sell all his vineyards. Instead of walking away from viticulture altogether, he decided to use his wine knowledge and business experience in a different way.

Francis wanted to develop his brands based on something that is typically seen in wine production- single estate. The idea is that everything is handled 100% by the producer themselves, and Francis wanted his brands to be just as hands-on. He uses three main locations in the Cognac region, each equipped with their own separate distiller and Master Distiller across 370 hectares of land, making him one of the largest independent producers of Cognac today.

Francis and his daughter, Elodie, who is now the CEO of Domaines Francis Abécassis have put together a first class team where every members’ skills, attention, and love for the product are essential to the creation of refined Cognacs and spirits. Each in their areas of expertise is highly respected and every step in the production is carried out independently in order to adapt the production methods of these Cognacs to their specific terroirs. Among this team, is the Grands Domaines and Cognac Leyrat master distiller, Isabelle Couprie, who joined the team in 2018 and is one of the very few females in the Cognac world, especially with the title of Maître de Chai (Cellar Master).

In 2003, Francis introduced his second label for the Domaines Francis Abécassis brand, Cognac Leyrat. Francis chose Domaine de chez Maillard for his next label for the exceptional nature of the location where the 92 hectares of vineyards are situated. Located on top of well exposed chalky hillsides, this famous vineyard in the Fins Bois region produces complex and elegant Cognacs of outstanding quality. Leyrat had a long-standing history in the region before Francis chose it for his second label, dating back more than a century. The Leyrat team is convinced that blending of eaux-de-vie coming from a Single Estate gives their Cognacs their inimitable character and depth. The Cognacs that come out of Leyrat are recognized by the world’s most prestigious venues, making it Domaine Francis Abécassis’ flagship within their different estates.

Cognac Leyrat obtained their High Environmental Value certification in 2019 for their efforts and commitment to the environment, in particular, by reducing the use of weed killers and their reduced consumption of phytosanitary products. During the distillation process, the Domaines Francis Abécassis team still uses the two original copper stills installed by Mr. Leyrat in 1971, using the Charentais double distillation process on lees. These copper stills hold a small 25 HL and have an onion-shaped lid. Once the distillation process is complete, the Cognac is aged in new French oak barrels for 3-6 months, then for several years in red, old barrels. The philosophy of Domaine Francis Abécassis and Cognac Leyrat is what makes their Cognacs unique amongst producers – Single Estate Cognacs from farming, to the production process, to the finished product.

The Cognacs

Cognac Leyrat VSOP

Golden yellow colour. In traditional style of the Leyrat range, this VSOP displays elegance with the association of white-fleshed fruits, flowers and spicy aromas. Suppleness and harmony of sweet flavours with a touch of wood notes. The finish brings notes of new oak and spices.

Cognac Leyrat Assemblage  N°1

Golden yellow colour. The nose expresses notes of jam, soft spices and delicate woody notes with a touch of vanilla. The attack is delicate and elegant. The evolution is fruity and round with a woody and slightly spicy final taste.

Cognac Leyrat XO Hors d’Age (Gifted Available)

Old gold colour. A first nose of spices and wood evolving to warm aromas of acacia honey and candied orange. The second nose reveals sweet ginger notes combined with nutmeg. The mouth-feel is supple and harmonious. It is silky and full on the palate. The finish is characterized by notes of vanilla and brioche.

Cognac Leyrat XO Elite Gifted

Old golden amber colour. A nose marked by the typical aromas of old cognacs, rancio and spices. The taste is elegant and has a great finesse, the wooden and fruity flavours are perfectly balanced.

Cognac Leyrat  Extra Glory Gifted

Old gold colour. Aromatic complexity where aromas of cedar wood, candied fruits and honey intermingle. The aromas of candied fruits, cinnamon and wood bringa great length and an incomparable wealth. With a finish of a great flexibility, supported by notes of lemon, cigar box and orange.


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