This arrived safely nestled in a suitcase following a trip to England. None is imported into Canada although some finds its way to the US via various importers, and it is available in some of the finest European and Japanese restaurants.
The AE stands for Amedee-Edouard, the House’s founder who struck up the business in 1858, originally as a negociant and then as a Cognac maker himself. Today, the House is run by Pierre-Antoine Riviere and remains family-owned and operated.
This Cognac is produced from a blend of Petite and Grande Champagne grapes – but hold on – exactly what does that mean? It’s not a reference to Champagne AC located northeast of Paris. And no, it doesn’t mean bubbly Cognac.
There are 6 regions in Cognac, the two most prestigious being Grande and Petite Champagne. In this case, ‘Champagne’ is actually a word derived from an old French term meaning chalky soil, whereas in Champagne AC, the name comes from the word Campania (in Italy) because the Romans thought the areas looked similar.
Cognac is made from distilled white wine (from Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and/or Colombard grapes) and when it’s made from at least 50% of grapes from Grande Champagne and the remainder blended from Petite Champagne brandy, it is allowed to be called Fine Champagne. This signifies it has ageing potential along with powerful and long-lasting flavours and full body.
The AE Dor XO is deep amber with heavy legs. The nose has medium plus intense aromas and the dry, smooth palate shows ripe red apple, fresh prune, honey, maple, demerara sugar, vanilla stick, anise, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. The palate is dry and smooth and the finish, long and persistent.
It took me a while to open this special bottle – I gazed longingly at it for quite a while. This is matured, elegant, delicate, complex and age-worthy – WSET Outstanding.
Drink now or age indefinitely.