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.

Hubert Germain-Robin, the first distiller to use wines from world-class varietal grapes, has created one of the world’s great spirits. Following a chance 1981 meeting with Ansley Coale, Hubert took an antique still from an abandoned distillery near Cognac and brought it to Coale’s Mendocino County ranch, where the two men built a modest distillery. Hubert used the old still to return to ancient craft methods passed for centuries from master to apprentice. However, he broke with tradition by experimenting with distilling wines made from premium wine grapes. The grapes used in Cognac, grown in that region’s damp cool weather, produce thin, relatively flavorless wines; cognacs derive most of their flavor from their soils. Hubert reasoned 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. http://www.germain-robin.com


  • Just Passing Through

    Batch 2017.1 – assembled by Joseph Corley in 2014 for a custom client; five cases held back for three more years.  The batch started with an already assembled blend of Chardonnay (rarely distilled by us), Colombard, Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Zinfandel, to which Corley added a 1999 Zinfandel and a lovely 1998 Pinot from Roederer.  Rich, complex, very nice price for the quality.

    750 ml / 41.4% abv

    $84.00

    Out of Stock


  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Select Barrel XO

    GERMAIN-ROBIN Select Barrel XO

    Only ten barrels a year. In 1998, Robb Report Magazine's expert panel picked the XO as the world's best distilled spirit, period. In our blind tastings, you have to spend about double – Delamain Trés Vénérable, say, or Ferrand's Abel – to match it. Some 17 years old, the XO usually has about  12 components, 80% of the volume being brandies distilled from pinot noir. Very complex, very elegant, very smooth. Using pinot noir shows up in the incredible finish — subtle yet wonderfully deep & rich fruitiness.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $65.00

    Out of Stock


  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Coast Road Reserve

    Named after the old stage-coach road that runs to the Pacific past the 1982 Germain-Robin distillery, this rich blend includes brandies more than 20 years old. Deeply fruity, nicely oaked. Includes about 50% pinot noir, thus a long & complex finish. "Dark & brooding" (Joe Corley, who created the blend after he took over from Hubert Germain-Robin in 2006).

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $72.00

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  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Craft-Method Brandy

    Unbelievable quality for the price: this bargain shows what is great about distilling premium wine grapes. A VSOP, it outscored Delamain Pale & Dry and Martell 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

    $29.00$48.00

    Clear


  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Heirloom Apple Brandy

    A real delight: clean, pure, complex, and wonderful combination of delicacy and great apple flavor. Distilled from heirloom apple cultivars (such as Ribston Pippin and Arkansas Black) grown in Mendocino County's famed Anderson Valley, distilled on two of Germain-Robin's antique cognac stills. Depth, unusual length (Germain-Robin`s hallmark), and plenty of liveliness, without the dead and often rough quality displayed by most French Calvados.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $35.00$65.00

    Clear


  • GERMAIN-ROBIN Christmas Blend

    GERMAIN-ROBIN Christmas Blend

    Every Christmas since 1991 G-R has offered a few cases of this limited bottling, not widely available: appealingly fruity and spicy seasonal offering. It includes brandies with a little extra spice to compliment holiday food. Makes a great gift, with a 19th-century engraving of jolly old Saint Nick on the label.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $72.00

    Out of Stock




Once Only Blends


  • Once Only/One Time Blend No. 26

    ONCE ONLY/ONE-TIME BLEND NO. 26 blends an elegant 1997 Sangiovese (the standard Chianti grape, rarely distilled and certainly not in the USA), plus a brilliantly rich and fruity 2013 Dolcetto, into three Colombards  from 2004 and 2004, soft and full bodied. . Go here for detailed blend info.    

    750 ml / 41% abv

    $75.00

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Uncategorized

Old & Rare

Please see the Old & Rare page




Millard Fillmore Brandy


  • 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

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Infusion Works

Unlike the artificial garbage being peddled as flavored whiskey, these infused brandies are beautifully crafted from genuine ingredients by Germain-Robin’s Joseph Corley. Working with both youthful (forward and fruity) and aged (rich and complex) brandies, Corley infuses the blend with macerated fresh and dried fruit and, in the Exotica, select spices. This is craft production at its best.


  • INFUSION WORKS Dark Cherry

    Infused with fresh and dried pie cherries (Montmorencies ) and a small amount of ripe Bings. Displays 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 the Caribbean. This bitter orange, the Seville, is the base for Cointreau and Grand Marnier, but Corley avoids their heavy use of 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

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  • 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 is assembled by Cognac’s largest remaining family-owned firm, Tiffon/Braastad, which comprises four distilleries and eight stone-built aging cellars. Their remarkably extensive stocks of old cognac are held pure & unblended.
The flavor and aromas of cognacs derive largely from the soil in which their grapes were grown, which is why the region is divided into districts (such as grande champagne). 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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Single District Bottlings


  • 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, nicely fruited.

    750 ml / 40% abv

    $135.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Distillerie Galtaud 100% Borderies

    Unblended single-cask cognac from the Borderies region. Single-malt drinkers love this cognac: 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 / 40.5% abv

    $100.00

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  • MAISON SURRENNE Single Vintage XO 100 % Grande Champagne

    Made the way XO cognacs used to be, 50 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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Specialty Bottlings

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 Unblended 1946 grande champagne

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

    750 ml / 41.9% abv

    $600.00

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  • 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 Heritage 2

    A genuinely rarity. From a 20-liter glass carboy in Surrenne's treasury of old rarities. 24 bottles released and Craft Distillers got 12 of them. Distilled in the Borderies commune of Cherves-Richmont, 100+  years old by inventory records. Unreal product.

    750 ml / 41.9% abv

    $1,200.00

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  • 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

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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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Cask


  • INDIVIDUAL 9-LITER CASK

    Tonnellerie Vicard in Cognac hand-crafts these 12-bottle casks, using wood from old cognac barrels. These are serious items, and will last for decades. A cask holds one case of brandy, and it bears a numbered brass nameplate. These casks actually work — the brandy continues to age, becoming richer and more harmonious, and at a much faster rate than in a standard cognac barrel. After just 6 weeks, the brandy inside becomes noticeably deeper. Many customers create an individual blend by combining two or more brandies in the cask. It’s best to have a reasonably cool and not too dry a place to keep the cask, so as to minimize the significantly increased evaporation that occurs when you age brandy in a small cask. It’s $250 for the empty cask, plus the cost of the brandy you choose to put in it. The casks make a striking and impressive gift. Call Germain-Robin to arrange what you want on the nameplate and about which brandies to fill it with: (707) 468-7899. Casks must be filled within 24 hours of receipt. NOTE: This prduct is discounted to

    750 ml

    $250.00

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