Francois Giboin in front of his still. Photo: John Rankin

The Final Installment of Chambers Street Selections Brandy: Single-Vintage Cognac!

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Borderies is the smallest cru within the Cognac region of France, having only 4,160 hectares of vines (mainly Ugni Blanc) planted in clay-rich soils with flint and gypsum. It is here that arguably the most distinctive Cognacs are produced, and it is here that we found the third installment of our Chambers Street Selections of French brandies. Francois Giboin is currently making some of the most intriguing Cognac, and this is one you will not want to miss!

Cognac Giboin was founded in 1830 and is now run by Francois Giboin – the 6th generation to be in charge of this estate. Relative to his neighbors in Cognac, Francois’ property at L’Hermitage is a tiny estate, with only 10 hectares of vines planted entirely with the local variety Ugni Blanc. The estate has not expanded since acquiring these vineyards by 1850. This property is unique as it was one of the few to have been spared when phylloxera ravaged most of France’s vineyards in the late 1800s.  Vineyard work is done using the same traditional methods put into place by Francois’ ancestors, with great care taken to limit yields. The wine is double distilled in a traditional Charentais pot still (the Giboin estate does three different styles of distillation depending on how long the resulting spirit is destined to age) before being put into barrel. Their cellar is not temperature controlled, allowing for the natural rhythm of the seasons to regulate the aging process. When it is time to bottle, they do so without any filtration or other additives, and they exclusively bottle to order. Having tasted a variety of their products, all of them are representative of the Giboin style (which is a very good thing), and all of them are utterly delicious spirits.

What makes our selection special? Besides being hand-selected by us, our bottling is vintage-dated, which is uncommon in Cognac. Most producers here focus on blending vintages to create a balanced house style (which can also be very old and of extremely high quality) as opposed to offering barrels from a specific year. All producers wishing to release single-vintage bottlings must register the barrel(s) with the National Bureau of Cognac as soon as it is filled, after which they are inspected, sealed, and placed in a locked cellar that only the government has access to. When a producer wants to bottle their spirit, they have to contact the bureau to pull the barrel out of the cellar. Francois Giboin began holding back two 350L barrels for each vintage between 1994 and 1999, and began offering them at the end of 2015.

This is a truly unique spirit, and only available in incredibly limited quantities. We are proud to have this Cognac on our shelves to complete the trifecta of Chambers Street brandies! Tim Gagnon

For those who missed our first two Chambers Street Selections (an Armagnac and a Calvados), they are also on offer below! For more information on those producers, please see this article: https://chambersstwines.com/Articles/6610/two-new-chambers-street-selections-calvados-and-armagnac

Huard 2002 Calvados Le Pertyer Hors d'Age

Our Chambers Street selection of Calvados was distilled in 2002 and was aged in a barrel that previously held cider and Pommeau (cider and Calvados blended together). From the diary of John Rankin: The barrel that we bought has candied apple and toffee cream flavors and is surprisingly juicy and fruit-forward, even with a fair amount of age and alcohol percentage. It shows the influence of Pommeau and cider more than barrel, along with richness and a long finish of exotic citrus and dark-toned flowers. Tim Gagnon

  • brandy
  • 11 in stock
  • no discount
  • $84.99

Chateau de Briat 2000 Bas Armagnac Bacco

The 2000 Bacco fully exudes the traditional Château de Briat house style: decadent, yet complex and structured, with a focus on new oak. Again, from the diary of John Rankin: On the nose it is luscious with sweet caramel, the chewy soft kind, and orange zest rising from the glass. On the palate it is rich and silky – very drinkable – with a touch of spice and a sugary milk chocolate finish. With this flavor profile and the château’s affinity for new oak, this would be a fantastic crossover spirit for Bourbon lovers! Tim Gagnon

  • brandy
  • 18 in stock
  • no discount
  • $63.99

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Giboin Selection 1994 Cognac Grande Champagne d'l Hermitage

Our Chambers St. Selection is vintage-dated 1994, and offers everything that we love about Cognac. Francois Giboin uses a specific distillation method for his brandies that are destined to age for 10+ years using a wine that is very lees-heavy resulting in a fuller, more complex eau de vie that holds up to being in barrel for so long. On the nose it is exquisite with aromas of baked apricot, brown sugar, toasted walnuts, and burnt orange peel. There are also deeper, complex notes of sea breeze, blossom, oiled leather, and bacon fat. The palate is powerful, yet maintains finesse with distinctive herbal, salty characteristics giving way to citrus pith, dried apricot, and a hint of rancio. The finish is long with a vigorous acidity making for a lively, well-balanced spirit. Simply put, this is fantastic stuff. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • brandy
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $76.99