Brandy, Cognac & Pisco

Maison Surrenne Cognacs, the fabulous Germain-Robin “Alambic” brandies, and piscos from PiscoLOGIA are based on grapes. They’re all 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).

Germain-Robin brandies are hand-distilled using high-quality varietal wine grapes from Northern California, where the rich loam and intense summer heat make for brandies with exceptional depth and finish.

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 of their cognacs, preserving the rich variation between the regional soils.

Pierre de Segonzac   family-owned since 1702. One of the last estate cognacs: hand-distilled from grapes grown in the distillery’s small vineyard near Segonzac, home to some of Cognac’s finest grapes. The estate, La Nérolle, and the vineyard are in the heart of Cognac’s finest grand champagne soils.

PiscoLOGIA is the best of several little-known treasures from Peru. Pisco is a grape brandy tightly regulated to enforce ancestral methods.



Germain-Robin Brandy

POT STILL BRANDIES distilled by hand, using craft methods on a small antique cognac still. 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 are the bottlings below and a number of fabulous older brandies listed in the OLD & RARE section.


  • GERMAIN-ROBIN California Alambic Brandy

    A 7-year-old brandy based on French Colombard wine, beautifully complex and fruity. In the 1850s, French Colombard was the standard grape of Cognac. When the vines were wiped out by the phylloxera epidemic that devasted French vineyards in the 1860s, Cognac growers tried to graft Colombard to American rootstock resistant to the infestation. They found that the grafted Colombard’s grape bunches tightened, which in Cognac’s damp climate caused too much rot: it was their best grape, but they couldn’t use it. In California’s dry summers, Colombard yields great distilling wine, rich and deep.  

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $80.00

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  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Heirloom Apple Brandy

    Delicately distilled Anderson Valley heirloom cultavars:  Wickson, Ribston Pippin, Arkansas Black, plus malolactically fermented Gravenstein.  Lovely soft aromatics, long lasting flavor. Limit 2 bottles per customer.  

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $65.00

    Sold out


  • Germain Robin XO

    GERMAIN-ROBIN Select Barrel XO

    120 bottles of Gallo’s second release, blended under Hubert’s supervision from the aged/barreled stock they bought from Germain-Robin in 2017. Includes mostly Pinot Noir, some of it going back to 1994, with a nice proportion of a 1995 Semillon, the same brandy used for the Semillon Single-Barrel releases. As always, rich, subtle, and elegant. One bottle per customer.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $135.00

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  • GERMAIN-ROBIN GR/30

    Pinot Noir and Colombard from 1983 and 1984. Pinot elegance, Colombard breadth and depth. We have fewer than 30 bottles. Limit 1 bottle per customer.

    750 ml

    $500.00

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  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Old Havana

    What’s left of the 2017 release of some 360 bottles. Contains brandies over 25 years old. Rich, deeply fruited, great volume in the mouth, more oak than the XO. Armagnac drinkers tend to prefer it. “One of the world’s great spirits” (Mens’ Journal). Limit of 1 bottle per customer.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $120.00

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  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Single Barrel Colombard

    Colombard was once Cognac’s best grape, before phylloxera. Paul Pacult wrote “Buy! Buy!” One of our best. We have 12 bottles. Limit 1 bottle per customer.

    750 ml / 42.8% abv

    $180.00

    Sold out




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.

For more info see craftdistillers.com


  • MAISON SURRENNE COGNAC

    Very appealing blend including Fin Bois cognacs from Tiffon’s own old-vine vineyards. Truly excellent price for the quality.  

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $48.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Distillerie Galtaud 100% Borderies

    Single vintage 100% from the borderies district. The Galtauld distillery, in the commune of Mainxe, was founded in 1800. Rich volume (a borderies characteristic), lovely deep fruit, with the typical hint of violet in the nose.   

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $100.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Ancienne Distillerie 100% Petite Champagne

    MAISON SURRENNE 100% Petite Champagne

    Single vintage 100% from the petite champagne district, blended at the home distillery on the Charente River, in Jarnac. Aged in the Figon cellar. Unusual quality: it won a double gold medal in the XO category at the SF Spirits Competition. Rated a “Best Buy” by Wine Enthusiast..    

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $135.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Single Vintage XO 100 % Grande Champagne

    100% from the grande champagne district, blended from the Madame, Figon, Brunetiere, and Moreau cellars. Cognacs in the blend are over 25 years old. Delicacy married to the district’s notably subtle deep flavor and long finish. Look for the classic hint of orange in the nose. Great price.  

    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 then century-old petite champagne assembled in 1922, topped off annually for now 98 years. Astonishing complexity: contains dozens of very old cognacs. There’s hardly any finish, which happens to old petite champagne. One of a kind: an amazing taste experience, liquid fruit-cake. 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

    1975 grande champagne from a single vineyard in Verrieres, near Segonzac, the epicenter of the region’s finest grapes. The south slope vineyard yields beautiful rich flavor. Extreme finesse.

    750 ml

    $350.00

    Sold out


  • MAISON SURRENNE Unblended 1946 grande champagne

    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 vintages, and this man knew his grapes very well. It has the depth and rich finesse of old cognac, yet is still 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

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Heritage 2

    Taken from a glass carboy, now in the Surrenne cellars, that was purchased from the cellar of a distiller near Cherves-Richemont in the tiny Borderies region. The cognac appears in cellar records: over 100 years old. It is very rich, with a deep presence in the mouth that comes only from long aging.

    750 ml / 41.9% abv

    $1,200.00

    Sold out


  • MAISON SURRENNE Cask 356

    We believe this to be the finest cognac in bottle. A genuine rarity, it was assembled in 1961 by Tiffon’s former cellar–master, Hilaire Guilbaud: chosen from the house’s finest very old grande champagne cognacs. The blend aged for another 53 years in one cask. Every component is well over 100 years old. When Richard took out the bung, Ansley could smell the cognac 50 feet away.. 12 bottles imported each year  

    750 ml / 42.2% abv

    $2,000.00

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Pierre de Segonzac

“We age our cognacs mostly in used Limousin, to allow the lovely fruit flavors and aromatics to reveal and deepen themselves against a modest backdrop of fine oak. Our cellars are not large, but rich in older cognacs. In them are barrels distilled by my great-grandfather” – Pablo Ferrand


  • Pierre de Segonzac Cognac

    A 100% grande champagne blend including cognacs distilled 12 years ago. Deliberately low alcohol content in the distilling wine means deep concentration of flavor. Lightly oaked to display its fundamental quality. Rich and complex, yet preserving the flowery fruit of younger cognacs.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $79.00

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  • Pierre de Segonzac Cognac Ancestrale

    Very few cognacs this old are in bottle. The cognacs in the blend were distilled three and four generations ago: Pablo Ferrand’s great- great- grandfather distilled some of them. The concentration of flavor from decades of evaporation in barrel is apparent: water and alcohol rise to the angels, but the aromatic and flavor esters remain. Look for deep and subtle richness with intense complexity: spices, cocoa, nuts, old port, leather: what aged grande champagne is all about. Of the 300 bottles a year, there are 40 for the US market. . “Exceptional… intense aromatic complexity” – PASSION FOR WHISKEY.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $825.00

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  • Pierre de Segonzac Cognac XO

    All the renowned attributes of grande champagne. Amazing full length, deep focused flavors: pure elegant gold. A wonderful rancio: there are cognacs in the blend 37 years old. Great value for its age. Scarce.

     

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $165.00

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  • Pierre de Segonzac Private Collection.

    Released in 2020. Superb old petite champagne cognacs blended with old grande champagne cognacs from Pierre’s cellars. Excellent balance, nicely oaked, spicy, with a hint of vanilla from Limousin oak. The finish lasts forever. Waxed seal. 250 hand-numbered bottles.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $280.00

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Pisco LOGIA

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 Puro Quebranta

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

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $48.00

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  • PISCO LOGIA Acholado

    A blend of brandies distilled by Hugo Chumpitaz at the nearby Paino destilería from the Italia, a flavorful and very aromatic white wine grape (a cross of Bican and Hamburg Muscat) and the red Mollar grape, a succulent Spanish table grape, fruity plus nice minerality.

    750 ml / 41.2% abv

    $40.00

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  • PISCO LOGÍA Italia

    A small batch distilled from the Italia grape, a remarkably flavorful white wine varietal developed in Italy by crossing the French Bican and the black Hamburg Muscat grape. Beautifully aromatic

    750 ml / 41.2% abv

    $48.00

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  • PISCO LOGÍA Mollar

    Limited batch distilled from the scarce Mollar grape, a naturalized red wine varietal brought over from Spain in the 1500s. Full-bodied and rich.

    750 ml / 41.2% abv

    $57.00

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  • PISCO LOGÍA Torontel

    Very limited batch distilled from the high-ester Torontel, a naturalized varietal derived from Muscat Blanc. Rich elegant fruit

    750 ml / 41.3% abv

    $57.00

    Add to cart


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