FINS BOIS SESSION #1
Grosperrin Fins Bois N°87 NYSA EDITION 41,6%
A 30yo+ Fins Bois bottled for Nysa (Parisian wine shops) at quite a low degree (41,6%) because of a reduction made before its acquisition by Grosperrin.
Colour: Gold, orange lights. Medium irregular tears.
Nose: Full of heady citruses notes melted to earthy shade. Orange blossom, yuzu juice. But it’s rounded by air, and you get more and more nutty scents. Dry walnuts, nougat. Tannic smells. Young melon notes.
Mouth: Light oily texture and dry aftertaste. Tinned plums, litchi, fresh lime juice. A tad of exotic notes but most of the palate is dominated by raisins, plums, and tannic notes, especially on spiced aromas like tarragon and black pepper. A great dose of acidity in the aftertaste, maybe a bit too much. I feel it like the dryness of a Fins Bois that has reached its maturity.
Last Notes: Greedy scents of cooked vegetables (carrots and zucchini). Hints of olive and linseed oil in the background. Hints of herbs like freshly cut basil and thyme. On the palate, great comeback of citruses notes, this time on orange zest marmalade. It ends on a spiced note, mainly Sichuan pepper.
Very easy Fins Bois. Maybe a tad too simple. But let’s be crystal clear, it remains a solid 30yo+ F.B.
GRosperrin FINS BOIS 1989 48,4%
Another Fins Bois millesime (after the wild 1993) from Grosperrin’s cellars.
Colour: Old gold, orange lights. Regular heavy tears.
Nose: Very sugary melon notes at first surrounded by Monbazillac wine scents. Dry coastal forest smells pine bark, warm sand, pine cone. A tad of freshness on eucalyptus. Floral shades on orange and cherry blossom. Quite a delicate nose but with ample distinct notes. Ruby port wine scents in the background and a little briny touch on olive oil (like the N°87).
Mouth: Oily texture. Very port wine aromas at first. Cooked grapes. Light buttery notes. Full of red berries in the aftertaste. Blackberry stew, grenadine syrup. Bang! Ample palate with massive notes, so very different from the nose finesse, but quite my taste too. Its ends on generous almond paste notes.
Last Notes: More floral scents with air. Lilac and rosewater. Still « sunny » smells of warm sand and pine bark underlined by various resinous shades now. A tad leathery in the background. Strong walnut oil waves. Young melon and raisins back on the palate. Plum liquor aftertaste. A bit of dryness in the mouth length, but it’s not unpleasant at all. It ends on hazelnut shell and linseed oil.
Strong wood influence but it remains quite well-balanced. Generous fruity F.B. I can’t say if this one has reached its maturity (I’m not a cellar master), as this FB already has a nice « patine » (is there a word to translate it properly?) given by its age, but regarding its powerful aromas, it seems that it could go for another decade. A millesime with its great singularity by the way.
Grosperrin Fins Bois "Sous l'Escalier" 52,6% (2020 bottling)
It seems that Grosperrin owns a “little stock” of old Fins Bois in their cellars. This one is a 40yo+ F.B that was in a cask under the stairs, and that’s the explanation for its very informal name. It has been bottled in 2020 at 52,6%.
Colour: Amber, gold lights. Irregular heavy tears.
Nose: Heavy fruity rancioted notes, especially on exotic fruits (mango juice, banana stew). Bang! Massive exotic fruits concerto underlined by light peppery notes. Pastry notes in the background, mainly on marzipan and buttery notes. Hints of bourbon vanilla. Overripe melon and passion fruit with more air. This nose has a lot to tell. Varnished wood and fresh paint notes. Reminds a bit of some Guyana rum shades. Heady smells of synthetic peach smells.
Mouth: Oily texture. Very winy entrance. Acidulous notes on blackcurrant juice surrounded by massive red berries stew, the kind of aromas you find in some Rhone Valley red wine. Generous fruity notes followed by a stunning freshness on eucalyptus and various resinous notes. Wonderful mouth length with rancioted notes, like the nose, but this time more on roasted sesame seeds and fermented notes (fresh bread dough, sake). It ends on flambéed banana and licorice sweets.
Last Notes: Still fruity shades (tinned pineapple) and freshness with more air. Distinct wood notes now, something between sawdust and rotten wood. Nutty shades, mainly on cashew nuts and walnut oil. Still very particular heady peach smells. Back on the palate, you find back some licorice aromas carried by the acidulous texture. A tad of marasquin cherry and tinned plums notes. It ends on great buttery and verbena infusion notes.
Magnificent Fins Bois that has eaten its cask through the time while conserving its strength. A little lack of precision in the second part of the tasting, but that’s a minor shortcoming regarding its overall qualities.
JLP Fins Bois 68-72 Kirsch Import 59,1%
So here is a Fins Bois from JLP’s cellars. Quite unusual, but maybe they’ll keep on that trend (and that could be very interesting)…This one is an assemblage of 1968 and 72, and you find 2 bottlings on the market: one for Kirsch Import (59,1%) and another for Les Grands Alamabics (58,9%).
Colour: Amber, orange lights. Regular heavy tears.
Nose: Ample nose on exotic fruits, but it’s screaming « let me breathe! » (59,1%!). Very « sunny » nose (like previously perceived with the Grosperrin FB 1989). This nose remains very heady, even with more air. Heady and earthy fragrance. Fresh litchi and apricot scents now. Nice mix of cinnamon and bourbon vanilla. Melted flowery and citruses notes: yuzu, hibiscus, rosewater, tangerine juice. Briny and citruses scents that make think a bit of some mezcal notes, but without the smoky side. Intriguing nose.
Mouth: Sweet and a little oily texture with a tad of bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite powerful, which I was fortunately prepared for. Generous chocolate notes and still some citruses notes. Ground coffee, fresh orange juice. Massive mouth length on cinnamon and bitter chocolate. A tad of nutty notes with roasted hazelnut and pistachio.
Last Notes: Heady notes of orange zest and bitter chocolate. A great dash of spices, mainly caraway. Still this original mix of citruses and flower scents, something between hibiscus and tangerine peel. Hints of roasted notes, especially burnt wood, remain mostly hidden by chocolate notes. Back on the palate, you find gentle spices aromas: cardamom, cloves, and badian. Strong bitter chocolate notes again. It ends on toffee and fresh licorice.
A very surprising Fins Bois, quite different from the other challengers in this session. Full of aromas, great complexity, well-balanced even with this outrageous ABV.
Grosperrin Fins Bois N°52-22 46,5%
I tasted this one a first time in Grosperrin’s cellars and as Guilhem told me the last time we met, “when a cognac is really good, you don’t need many words. When you have a truly magnificent cognac in your glass, you instantly know it.” And that was my impression when I took the first sip. So I feel a bit privileged to taste it again, fully focused on this gem made of 80% of 1952 and 20% of 1922. This is what they called old for a Fins Bois in Courbiac Street cellars. Well, let’s start the tasting part.
Colour: Dark amber, orange lights. Heavy irregular tears.
Nose: Mamma mia! Immediate rancio melting roasted and fruity notes. Heavy crossed scents of tiramisu and cherry syrup. I already want to take a sip. Generous candied plum and fig notes. Elegant smells of green tea surrounded by rosemary and thyme shades. Extreme finesse here. Apparition of an obvious creaminess. Nougat, walnut pie, orange zest cake. Maybe a tad of creme brulee too. And you also get some umami shades, especially on dried mushrooms. Great freshness in the background. Stop it!
Mouth: Oily and acidulous texture. But where to begin? Papaya, passion fruit and banana stew. Ample fruity aromas, maybe a little overripe. Heavy tobacco notes underlined by a stunning freshness (mint leaves). Delicate spiciness on white pepper and tarragon. Strong rancio on old leather and stables notes. Beautiful mouth length on anise and cardamom, even if I was expecting a little more of this palate.
Last Notes: Heady flowery and oaky notes. Acacia honey, potpourri, lavender, pine bark. Blackcurrant syrup but most of the nose is now full of dried figs. Nice mix of verbena infusion and breakfast tea. Back on the palate, you find back some menthol and peppery notes and a bit of honeysuckle and rosemary in the aftertaste. A tad of acidity on lime juice and linseed oil. It ends on blackberry juice and gingerbread.
What a Fins Bois! One of the best noses among all my tasting notes. Delicious palate even if I was expecting a bit more complexity in the second part of the tasting. But don’t mess with this Fins Bois 52-22, it’s already a solid Ballon d’Or 2022 nominee.