Cognac & Germain-Robin

Cognacs & the fabulous Germain-Robin “Alambic” brandies are based on grapes. Both are distilled on a pot still like the one in the photograph, an alambic charantais (Armagnac, another famous grape brandy, uses a different kind of pot still). The Cognac region is cool and rainy, so its grapes tend not to make great table wine; soil characteristics have a great deal to do with cognac quality. For that reason, Maison Surrenne does very little blending, preserving the rich variation between the regional soils. Germain-Robin hand-distills high-quality varietal wine grapes from Mendocino County, CA, where the rich loam and intense summer heat make for brandies with exceptional depth and finish.

For more info see craftdistillers.com

 



Germain-Robin Brandy

POT STILL BRANDIES distilled by hand, using craft methods on a small antique cognac still located in Mendocino County, California. Germain-Robin was twice named Best Spirit by ROBB REPORT, ahead of The Macallan 18 and Richard Hennessy $1500 cognac.

Hubert Germain-Robin, the first distiller to use wines from world-class grapes, created one of the world’s great spirits. Hubert took an antique still from an abandoned distillery near Cognac and brought it to Ansley Coale’s Mendocino County ranch. Hubert distilled using ancient craft methods passed for centuries from master to apprentice.  But he broke with tradition by distilling wines made from premium wine grapes. Cognacs derive most of their flavor from their soils and the regions grapes make insipid wine.    Hubert discovered that the rich, complex, and deeply-fruited grapes used to make Northern California’s renowned table wines would produce correspondingly rich, complex, and deeply-fruited brandies.

 

The brand was sold to E & J Gallo Winery in 2017; what we have is the three bottlings below and a number of fabulous older brandies listed in the OLD AND RARE section.


  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Craft-Method Brandy

    Unbelievable quality for the price: it outscored Delamain Pale & Dry and Maratell Cordon Bleu in a series of expert tastings (1989). Ansley Coale: "I used to get buyers to taste it blind against Hennessy XO. The Craft Method always won".  Lot–numbered.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $48.00

    Out of Stock


  • Millard Fillmore US Brandy

    A great distilled spirit (at a very good price) from the original (1982) craft-method Germain-Robin distillery that put superb US brandy on the map. Includes brandy pot-distilled in 2005.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $35.00

    Out of Stock


  • Barrel Blend 1994

    A custom blend created in 1994 for (oops!) a wedding that didn’t take place. The 1994 includes a wonderful old-vine Chenin Blanc (one of our favorite early brandy varietals) that has long since been replanted. 20 years in the bottle has deepened and enriched the flavor. 96 750ML bottles only.

    375 ml

    $150.00

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Infusion Works

Developing these recipes took three years.  Unlike the artificial garbage being peddled as flavored whiskey, these infused brandies are beautifully crafted from genuine ingredients by Germain-Robin’s Joseph Corley.  Corley infuses the blend with macerated fresh and dried fruit and, in the Exotica, select spices. Craft production at its best.


  • INFUSION WORKS Dark Cherry

    Infused with fresh and dried pie cherries (Montmorencies ) and a small amount of ripe Bings. Has fresh cherry aromatics, not easy to capture.

    750 ml

    $60.00

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  • INFUSION WORKS Seville Orange

    Infused with the peel of the citrus aurantium, sourced in Curacao. This bitter Sevillee orange is the base for Cointreau and Grand Marnier.  Corley avoids their heavy use of sugar used to disguise the roughness of the spirit (Grand Marnier is more than 30% sugar). See http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/08/which-is-the-best-orange-liqueur-triple-sec-curacao-cointreau-grand-marnier-reviews.html for a summary of bitter-orange liqueurs.

    750 ml

    $60.00

    Out of Stock


  • INFUSION WORKS Exotica

    Infused with Madagascan vanilla (using the pods, an art). Corley adds a hint of subtle spice.

    750 ml

    $60.00

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Maison Surrenne Cognac

Surrenne comes from Cognac’s largest remaining family-owned producer, Tiffon/Braastad: four distilleries and eight stone aging cellars. They have extensive stocks of old cognacs, pure & unblended.  Maison Surrenne selects distinctive and authentic small-lot cognacs: from specific districts, from single vintages, even from single barrels. No other cognacs come close to matching their quality at these prices. www.surrenne.com

For more info see craftdistillers.com


  • MAISON SURRENNE COGNAC

    Petite Champagne/Fin Bois VSOP.  The Fin Bois is grown in the family's vineyards near the chateau at Triac.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $48.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Distillerie Galtaud 100% Borderies

    Unblended single-cask cognac from the Borderies region.  Bottled from individual casks from the Galtaud distillery (operating since 1800!). There's clay in Borderies soil, so the Galtaud has great body, with beautiful rich fruit (sunny exposure for the vines). "Serene, composed, elegant ...ranks with the best I've tasted"– Spirit Journal.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $100.00

    Out of Stock


  • MAISON SURRENNE Ancienne Distillerie 100% Petite Champagne

    MAISON SURRENNE 100% Petite Champagne

    100% Petite Champagne distilled at the home distillery, the "Madame", on the banks of the Charente river.  Drawn from aged inventory in the Figon cellar.  Delicate, beautifully fruited.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $135.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Single Vintage XO 100 % Grande Champagne

    Made the way XO cognacs used to be 100 years ago: rich yet delicate, with complex subtle flavors, true Grande Champagne depth, and a long deep finish (the region has a lot of limestone in its soils). Assembled from barrels from four of Surrenne`s aging cellars. This is a very good buy, better than any cognac up to $250.

    750 ml / 41.2% abv

    $150.00

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Rare Old Cognacs

The sort of cognacs you might get to taste out of an age-darkened barrel on a visit to an artisan producer – if he was in a good mood. We select these rare cognacs for their extraordinary quality. These are the finest cognacs on the market.


  • MAISON SURRENNE Tonneau No. 1

    Inconceivably rich. A blend of very old petite champagne assembled in a large tun in 1922, then topped off annually for now more than 90 years. Astonishing complexity: contains dozens of very old cognacs. The average age is probably well over 120 years.

    750 ml / 41.9% abv

    $270.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Lot 1975/David Picoron

    Single vintage/single vineyard. Unblended grande champagne distilled in the 1975 harvest from M. Picoron’s hillside vineyard in Verrieres, near Ségonzac, the epicenter of the region. Very rich, with notable finesse.

    750 ml

    $350.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Unblended 1946 grande champagne

    Distilled on a wood-fired still by Hubert Portier from grapes grown in his family vineyard. 1946, was one of Cognac's all-time best, and this man knew his grapes very well. It has depth and rich finesse of old cognac, yet amazingly fresh. Maintained in a separate tun until bottling, this remains one of the finest cognacs ever distilled. Selected "Cognac of the Year" by Wine and Spirits in 1998.

    750 ml / 41.9% abv

    $600.00

    Out of Stock


  • MAISON SURRENNE Cask 356

    We believe this to be the finest cognac in bottle. A genuine rarity, assembled in 1961 by Surrenne’s former cellar–master, Hilaire Guilbaud: it was chosen from the house’s finest old grande champagne cognacs. The blend aged for another 53 years in one cask. Every component is well over 100 years old. 24 bottles imported each year.

    750 ml / 42.2% abv

    $2,000.00

    Out of Stock




Pisco LOGIA

The best of several little-known treasures from Peru. Pisco is a grape brandy tightly regulated to enforce ancestral methods. The PiscoLOGIA folks are serious: estate- grown grapes, extreme care in every aspect of cultivation/harvest/vinification/ production. They double the required months of resting time before bottling. These brandies are unusually clean, pure, well-distilled (300-liter copper pot still). We like this stuff.

We’ve seen two tasting reviews (one from Peru, with a gold medal) of multiple piscos: both put Pisco LOGIA Acholado number one.

Check out their website www.piscologia.com


  • Pisco LOGIA ACHOLADO

    Award-winning blend of brandies from the Quebranta and the aromatic Italia grape. Fruity, subtle, and citric, with a hint of muscat.

    750 ml / 42% abv

    $40.00

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  • Pisco LOGIA PURO QUEBRANTA

    Distilled 100% (“puro”) from the non-aromatic Quebranta grape. Non-aromatic varietals have a long history with pisco. Look to the palate instead of the nose to fully appreciate this brandy. Elegant and intense.

    750 ml / 42% abv

    $40.00

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