Tesseron

Comfort and Joy: Extraordinary ‘Grower’ Cognac
Tesseron
Roughly nine out of every ten bottles of Cognac sold worldwide comes from one of four producers. As market share goes, the Big Four, as they’re referred to—Hennessy, Remy-Martin, Courvoisier and Martell—have things pretty much sewn up. But, as is in Champagne, there’s beauty and brilliance to be found in the outliers, the insider tips, the leading lights of artisanship… The Tesserons, if you like.
 
In just over 15 years, Cognac Tesseron has succeeded in becoming a benchmark of the region. Tesseron’s remarkable standards and distinctive, vinous style have allowed it to carve out an important niche among the giants of this realm. This producer’s rise has everything to do with quality: the family holds one of the largest collections of ancient Cognacs in their legendary, 13th-century Paradis cellars; the lion’s share of the estate’s fruit comes from the prestigious Grande and Petite Champagne areas; and production is almost exclusively focused on premium XO Cognacs. In fact, before they started releasing small batches of Cognac under the Tesseron label, the family had been a highly reputed supplier of XO Cognacs to the large houses for over a century.
 
Our offering today includes Tesseron’s only non-XO, Composition (designed for lovers of younger amber spirits), the classic quartet of Lot Cognacs, including the rare 100-point Lot 29, and the Signature Range (Passion, Légende and Trésor). With the gifting season just around the corner, a bottle from Tesseron’s impressive collection is sure to delight any brown spirit drinker. In particular, the Tesseron 4-Pack XO Collection—which includes 50ml of each of the Lot Cognacs—is a great gateway for the ‘Cognac curious’ out there.

The Range

Cognac Tesseron Composition
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Cognac Tesseron Composition

Composition is this producer’s first non-XO release, yet even here Tesseron have aimed to make something very special for its level. It pours a bright, light amber colour and offers aromatics of spiced autumn fruit, white flowers and fresh plum, while on the palate there is that classic Tesseron texture and vinous, fruity complexity—ensuring this Cognac’s sipping credentials. Important to note that there is no added colour, it is the older material in this blend that brings the hue and depth. At the bar, we have found the spirit mixes beautifully, adding finesse and lift to a wide range of stirred and shaken drinks. This makes sense, Tesseron told us that they had comprehensively tested the Composition in a number of classic cocktails before the final blend was signed off. It’s an exceptional and versatile example of Cognac at an exciting new price point.


"The Cognac Composition is a very pretty, easygoing introduction to the range of Tesseron Cognacs. Floral and relatively light in body, the Composition offers up hints of charred lemon, sage, chamomile, dried flowers and subtle toast accents. It will do nicely when something simple and light is called for. This is the only Cognac in the Tesseron range that is not X.O."
89 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Cognac Tesseron Composition
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 90 XO Ovation
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 90 XO Ovation

With an average age of over ten years, this is made from Cognac’s three terroirs: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois. The Ovation’s distinctive character comes from long aging in Limousin oak barrels, which adds fullness, spice and sweetness. The pure aroma offers up ripe pears, spiced apples, maple syrup and vanilla. The palate is silky smooth, with perfectly integrated spirit and a mouth-coating texture. A very fine Cognac and a superb XO for the money. 


The pure aroma offers up ripe pears, spiced apples, maple syrup and vanilla. The palate is silky smooth, with perfectly integrated spirit and a mouth-coating texture. A very fine Cognac and a superb XO for the money.

“The latest release from this small but perfectly formed Cognac house. And what a price!”
95 points, Wine & Spirit Magazine
“The aromas are more on the sugary side, molasses, crème brulee and some toasted wood, good structure on the palate; it has a pleasant bitterness that gives structure, some dried fruits and a slightly sweeter finish.”
Andreas Larsson (Best Sommelier of the World, 2007)
"The X.O. Ovation Lot No. 90 is laced with hints of orange peel, cinnamon, caramel and light barrel toastiness. Attractive floral top notes give this suave, medium-bodied Cognac a good deal of nuance. This is an especially up-front, easygoing Cognac, not super-complex nor deep, but very good for what it is. The Lot. 90 is a blend of eau de vies that have spent 10-15 years in barrel, Grand Champagne, Petit Champagne and Fins bois crus."
90 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Cognac Tesseron Lot 90 XO Ovation
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 76 XO Tradition
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 76 XO Tradition

An exceptional blend of 25- to 30-year-old reserve stocks of Grande Champagne Cognacs, with distillations going back to the mid-1970s. It has a striking copper colour. On the nose there is an intense fragrance of roasted nuts, wood spice, leatherwood honey and baked pears, while the deep palate is viscous, dense even, with complex notes of Bosc pear, almond, Oloroso Sherry and orange peel. The finish is long and warming with hints of brown sugar, vanilla and sea salt. A stunning, mouth-filling and savoury Cognac.

On the nose there is an intense fragrance of roasted nuts, wood spice, leatherwood honey and baked pears, while the deep palate is viscous, dense even, with complex notes of Bosc pear, almond, Oloroso Sherry and orange peel. The finish is long and warming with hints of brown sugar, vanilla and sea salt. A stunning, mouth-filling and savoury Cognac.

“Full soft and mouthfilling. An ever-changing interplay between chestnut, honey, raspberry, beeswax, peaches in heavy syrup, and dried apricot. The wood is crisp, spicy and well-balanced, and the finish has a lovely touch of crystallised fruit”
95 points, Wine & Spirit Magazine
“The age alone - not to mention the smooth, seductive texture and the extraordinarily complex flavours of butterscotch and cream that linger for ages makes the price of this magnificent cognac rather attractive.”
Max Allen, The Australian ‘Wish’ Magazine
"The X.O. Tradition Lot No. 76 is redolent of maraschino cherry, cinnamon, rose petal, caramel and sweet oak. Medium in body, with fine depth and compelling balance, the No. 76 is super expressive right out of the gate. It offers an appealing middle ground between fun and serious. The long, creamy finish is quite attractive. The No. 75 is a blend of eau de vies that are at least 25 years old, all Grand Champagne."
93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Cognac Tesseron Lot 76 XO Tradition
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 53 XO Perfection
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 53 XO Perfection

A blend of Tesseron’s sublime stocks of Grande Champagne Cognac distilled in the 1950s and aged for two generations in Limousin casks. Here the Grande Champagne terroir really comes into its own, with layer after layer of rich, hedonistic wave of roasted nuts, mixed peel, raisins, dark chocolate and wild honey notes. For all its mouth-coating richness and intensity, it has a knock-out pillowy texture, perfect spirit integration and some super-complex rancio notes on the long finish.

Here the Grande Champagne terroir really comes into its own, with layer after layer of rich, hedonistic wave of roasted nuts, mixed peel, raisins, dark chocolate and wild honey notes. For all its mouth-coating richness and intensity, it has a knock-out pillowy texture, perfect spirit integration and some super-complex rancio notes on the long finish.

“This is a blend of Grande Champagne Cognac distilled in the 1950s. ‘This comes from some of our best lots and some of our best blends. This is very much the origin of our range, and for some difference, only about 4% colombard’ says Melanie Tesseron. Burnt amber colour. Warm, hearty, earthy, woody aromas with lifted spice, hints of caramel, pepper and high tones of fresh honeycomb and citrus rind. Almost unctuous texture here, a sweetness in the warmth, mellow and succulent, oak sits through the wine but this is much more supple and softened with honey and burnt, charry flavours – lots of depth here, sits smooth and medium-weighted in the palate with ease of drinking at the forefront. Long lingering dried fruit, spice flavours; mellow and delicious. A lovely, subtle, wintery Cognac.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“…pure silk, which at this alcohol level is very dangerous indeed. The complex aromatics can fill a room.”
98 points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
“…Reticent at first, reluctant to release its aromas of woodsmoke and grilled nuts, but one sip persuades you to admire its refined, citrussy, silky, haunting beauty.”
Max Allen, The Australian ‘Wish’ Magazine
"The Cognac X.O. Perfection Lot No. 53 takes things up a level or two. It's a blend of eau de vies that are at least 50+ years old, Ugni Blanc and Colombard, all Grand Champagne. A dark, almost somber Cognac, the Lot. 53 offers up a beguiling mix of dark fruit, spice, leather, game, tobacco, incense and dried herbs. This is an especially virile, almost somber style. There’s real depth and structure here. I especially like the way this builds through the mid-palate and into the finish."
95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Cognac Tesseron Lot 53 XO Perfection
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 29 XO Exception
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Cognac Tesseron Lot 29 XO Exception

The original jewel of the Tesseron collection is a unique blend of legendary Grande Champagne Cognacs, including some of the family’s finest, oldest and rarest stocks. From distillations begun in the 1920s, and even a proportion of the blend from 1905 and 1906, it is a very rare Cognac that has been lovingly aged for three generations. It also includes some Colombard and Folle Blanche—extreme rarities today. To us, this is as good a Cognac as most are ever likely to taste. You can get older and rarer, yet this will never suffer by comparison.

“Bright golden with orange hue. Amazing aromatics; amazing. Incredible to inhale, no higher alcohol burn to turn a head away, but rich, sweet-tinged, spicy and fruity, even. There’s the warmth of charred oak, wet logs, sandalwood and dark chocolate too. Feels so very smooth, lathed, slippery and yet insanely deep – triggers of fine woods, fresh honey, light rancio and a kind of liquid-mineral vein, firing in volleys within the contained frame of the Cognac. And while the texture remains supple, there’s a long, slow burn of campfire-like embers to close; it glows with a definitive sweetness, and then ebbs away with freshening floral, toffee notes and an almost briny tang. Wow. Wow.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“… anything this smooth, silky, potent, and aromatic, is truly great stuff. It is about as ethereal a Cognac as anyone could ever hope to drink.”
100 points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
“…If money is still less an object, Tesseron Lot 29 (40%) will prove just how conclusively great brandy, like great wine, can absorb, modulate and reflect a kind of mineral beauty in the midst of all its other, more freshly sensual attractions: layered amid the fig, the beech leaf and the cream there’s a kind of stony fire that glows for 30 seconds after you’ve swallowed …”
Andrew Jefford, Financial Times
"The Cognac X.O. Exception Lot No. 29 is a powerful, almost tannic spirit. A blast of kirsch, sweet spice, chocolate, cedar and warming alcohol races across the palate. This release is young, young, young. I admire the density, but this really does need time to settle and come into its own. Spice, tobacco, cedar, dried flowers, caramel and dried orange peel linger. The No. 29 is a Cognac that is more about aromatic nuance and structure, with fruit pushed into the background. The Lot. 29 is a blend of 75+ year-old eau de vies, Ugni Blanc, Colombard and Folle Blanche, all Petit Champagne."
96 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Cognac Tesseron Lot 29 XO Exception
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Cognac Tesseron 4-Pack  XO Collection (5Cl Bottles Of 90, 76, 53, 29 )
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Cognac Tesseron 4-Pack XO Collection (5Cl Bottles Of 90, 76, 53, 29 )

Composed of one 50ml bottle each of Lot Nos. 90, 76, 53 and 29, offered in a presentation box. It’s a great introduction to the Cognac Tesseron Collection. 

Cognac Tesseron 4-Pack  XO Collection (5Cl Bottles Of 90, 76, 53, 29 )
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Cognac Tesseron Carafe Passion
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Cognac Tesseron Carafe Passion

Aged for an average of 15 years, with at least 10 years maturing in Limousin oak barrels, this elegant, ethereal XO is a blend of Cognacs from the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois areas. Roughly thirty elements in total (made entirely from Ugni Blanc) were selected specifically for their graceful and floral qualities. 

The Passion blend leaps out of the glass with a vinous, fruity bouquet that then leads to a palate of flowing texture with flavours of preserved citrus, vanilla, figs and complex spices. A wonderfully hedonistic and complex Cognac.

The Passion blend leaps out of the glass with a vinous, fruity bouquet that then leads to a palate of flowing texture with flavours of preserved citrus, vanilla, figs and complex spices. A wonderfully hedonistic and complex Cognac.

Cognac Tesseron Carafe Passion
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Cognac Tesseron Carafe Legende
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Cognac Tesseron Carafe Legende

Aged, as Albert Tesseron puts it, “for one generation” (meaning 25-plus years) the Extra Légende was created from a blend of Tesseron Grande Champagne reserve wines. Its deep complexity was built around the inclusion of around 50 eaux-de-vie (including a number made from the Folle Blanche variety, a rarity in Cognac today) and its maturation in cellars of different humidity levels. It carries a little more earthy, woody spice than the Passion, with deeper, more mature candied fruit notes as well. There are also heady, deep, floral top notes, rich, spicy base notes, a velveteen texture and an extraordinarily long finish. Another stunning XO.

It carries a little more earthy, woody spice than the Passion, with deeper, more mature candied fruit notes as well. There are also heady, deep, floral top notes, rich, spicy base notes, a velveteen texture and an extraordinarily long finish. Another stunning XO.

Cognac Tesseron Carafe Legende
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Cognac Tesseron Carafe Tresor
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Cognac Tesseron Carafe Tresor

The pinnacle of the new collection, Trésor was crafted from a blend of around 100 eaux-de-vie, each selected for their finesse, depth, richness and length. This rarefied blend of spirits was then aged for more than two generations (50+ years) in special barrels famed for their age and rarity, called tierçons, within the Tesseron family's Paradis cellar (where the most valuable Cognacs are kept).  Of course these eaux-de-vie are all Grande Champagne in origin, and all three major grape varieties (Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Folle Blanche) are represented. This ensures the Trésor is comprised of only best and most complex raw materials available.

It's a sublimely opulent Cognac with intense rancio notes (smoky/nutty characters) that as Albert Tesseron says, "you never find in Cognacs less than two generations old". More viscous and dense in the mouth than the Légende, it's still remarkably sophisticated and (indescribably) complex, with prodigious length on the finish. Each sip fills the mouth with perfume. Sheer indulgence.

It's a sublimely opulent Cognac with intense rancio notes (smoky/nutty characters) that as Albert Tesseron says, "you never find in Cognacs less than two generations old". More viscous and dense in the mouth than the Légende, it's still remarkably sophisticated and (indescribably) complex, with prodigious length on the finish. Each sip fills the mouth with perfume. Sheer indulgence.

Cognac Tesseron Carafe Tresor
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“These [Cognacs] not only excite spirit experts, they also appeal to wine drinkers due to their complexity, subtlety and depth of flavour.” Max Allen, The Australian



“…It is about as ethereal a Cognac as anyone could ever hope to drink.” Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (Tesseron Lot 29)



“Tesseron Lot 29 will prove just how conclusively great brandy, like great wine, can absorb, modulate and reflect a kind of mineral beauty in the midst of all its other, more freshly sensual attractions…” Andrew Jefford, Financial Times

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