A cognac brand created in 1998 by Ansley Coale in collaboration with Richard Braastad of Cognac Tiffon (also now known as Cognac Braastad).
Tiffon is the largest remaining family- owned cognac house, comprising four distilleries and eight aging cellars. The headquarters is the “Madame”, on the south bank of the Charente in Jarnac.
Delivering cognac on wagons to the back of the Madame, ca. 1874
Almost all commercial cognacs tend to be over- blended, obscuring the unique characteristics of its components. Tiffon holds an amazing amount of older aged cognacs, many as yet unblended. Coale & Braastad saw an opportunity to release small lots of unblended cognacs, or at least batches all from one harvest.
The Borderies is alluvial soil deposited by the Charente river, which contains a lot of clay. Its cognacs, heavier, are almost exclusively used to add body to blends, despite their having lovely rich flavor: the land slopes mildly south and is open, so the grapes get lots of sun.
But here’s the Distillerie Galtauld, an unblended Borderies some 13 years in barrel. It’s rich, deep, and smells slightly of violets, a Borderies characteristic.
One of the treasures uncovered, this from the cellar of a vineyard farm house, was two small rattan-wrapped carboys (the French call them “bonbons’, pieces of candy) whose earliest records dated from 1875.
Want unique? Here’s a grande champagne from one of Tiffon’s best vineyards, bottled unblended after aging since 1975.
a staircase in the Madame
One of the finest cognacs ever, a bottle of grande champagne distilled in 1946 by a Hubert Portier on his farmhouse still from grapes grown in his own vineyard: the first harvest after WWII. 76 years later, it still has wonderful deep fruit