WHISKY LIVE 2019: Cognac François Voyer, the goldsmith in the cellars .
On the occasion of Whisky Live 2019, Pierre Vaudon (already crossed HERE), owner & Cellar Master of the Cognac House François Voyer, answers Whisky Magazine's questions.
His work borrows from traditional methods of distillation without turning his back on innovation and experimentation, particularly in the choice of casks used in his cellars.
In your opinion, what is the specificity of François Voyer?
The Verrières eaux-de-vie, marked by their terroir of origin in the heart of the Grande Champagne 1er Cru, have a very special signature characterised by their power, a lot of volume and a remarkable length in the mouth. As a micro-distillery, we have also developed our own distillation process based on the practices of our parents and grandparents: the creation of a specific toasting curve and the practice of overloading.
How would you define the expressions you produce?
François Voyer's DNA is revealed on the youngest eaux-de-vies by notes of white flowers, lemon and some pear aromas. Between 10 and 20 years of age, aromas of violet and especially ripe fruits such as plum or apricot are appreciated with a beautiful balance of oak wood tannins. As it matures even more, beyond 20 years, the aroma evolves towards aromas of exotic fruits, vine peach and nuts. Leather and spice aromas such as cinnamon and pepper are more pronounced and will arrive between 40 and 60 years of age and then open up to jasmine, dried fruit and cedar wood above 60 years of age. Our cognacs by ageing slowly in our cellars keep a great richness and elegance.
For the expression presented in the Yearbook 2019, François Voyer Extra, what is the elaboration process?
Enriched year after year, the Extra blend comes from a remarkable selection of eaux-de-vie among the oldest in our cellars (up to 45 years old). Its finesse and length in the mouth are the hallmark of our fine eaux-de-vie. This Extra shines by its freshness and its power, we have kept it at 42%Vol to carry its so complex and delicate perfumes mixing spices (cinnamon) and fruit (pineapple). We are Wers to have seen this blend rewarded with a score of 96/100 at the Ultimate Spirit Challenge 2019 and a mention "Extraordinary, Ultimate recommendation".
What are your plans for the coming year?
We are still on an aromatic quest. At the moment, we are working on the origin of the oak used to make our barrels. Thus we are experimenting with ageing in a few new barrels made of wood from the state-owned forests of Bercé, Gâvre and Réno-Valdieu. Numerous Grands Crus have already made this experience which has enabled them to reveal the finesse of the tannins from these French forests. In the same spirit, we have just replanted Folle Blanche, an ancient grape variety known for the minerality and subtlety of its eaux-de-vie. The quality of the wood and the selection of old varieties will enable us to offer an even wider aromatic palette to express the François Voyer signature.
How do you see your brand five years from now?
We are building for the long term through the quality and stability of the blends. To continue to seduce lovers of fine eaux-de-vie, we will offer ultra premium cognacs. It is a long-term job that implies that we must age our cognacs with care and always look for the most interesting aroma for each blend. We therefore put quality batches in stock, bearing in mind the need to preserve the vineyard and its balance. François Voyer is a very European brand today but there is a growing craze in Asia and the USA for our authentic and handcrafted cognacs. In 5 years time our cognacs will be more accessible in all these areas and François Voyer will also be synonymous with quality on these markets.
Source : whiskymag.fr