COGNAC SPONGE HERITAGE No.69 GROSPERRIN P.C 48,8%
Petite Champagne in its DNA ?
A 51yo Petite Champagne from Grosperrin’s cellars and bottled for Cognac Sponge (cognac side of Whisky Sponge). Let’s see if this cognac is as funny as the Napoleon label.
Colour: Old gold, orange lights. Irregular medium tears.
Nose: A huge fruity rancio to welcome you. Wilder than the Malternative Belgium tasted last week. More wood effect for this one, even if it’s younger. Pinesap and mint aromas underline this freshness and feeling of cask influence (only my guess, but maybe the humid cellar conditions tend to melt the cask effect into something less woody than the dry cellar conditions. Only a guess). Chestnut cream. Stewed apples. Nice bitterness on orange peel. Still very fresh on licorice and mint syrup. Herbal scents too. Eucalyptus bomb. Young pineapple and melon give us back some fruits. A little of bourbon vanilla enhanced by toasted notes. Candied notes arise, mainly on banana and cherry.
As a beginner, I don’t know if I’m able to feel the signature of a cru, but I have the strong feeling that these specific candied notes – with sometimes the acidulous side of sweets – are part of the Petite Champagne DNA (as I found them in Le Cognac d’André’s nose and in La Corbeille de Fruits too). It gets more and more licoricy. It ends on menthol and honey sweets. A very little of white mushrooms too. Nice!
Palate: Sweet texture. Apricot juice. Quince jam. Almond paste. Marzipan. Walnut pie. Milk chocolate. This Heritage No.69 is fruity and honeyed on the palate. A fresh creaminess arrives. Leather lotion, almond milk, mint syrup, vanilla cream. Hints of spiciness with caraway, cloves, and a bit of white pepper. Tinned pears to remind us of the fruit part. To be honest, I expected a better palate, wilder and fruitier. The stunning freshness is very interesting but seems to hide some aromas. Maybe it’s better with more air.
Last Notes: Heady smells. If the Malternative Belgium Corbeille de Fruits is a candy, this one is a perfume, a great fragrance made of exotic fruits (mango/cherry jam) and herbal scents (eucalyptus, pinesap, wild mint, peppermint). The licorice has the best part of the nose now. Funky but a little unbalanced. Hints of freshly cut wood too. Back on the palate now. Raisins, fresh lemon juice. Fresh licorice. Cardamom. Mint syrup. A little on tobacco. Pinesap. Wet undergrowth. A bit disappointing. Apple pie. Eucalyptus sweets. Licorice sweets.
I love this style (like the V.T Hors d’Age, a generous mix of exotic fruits and wild freshness), but I find this one a little imprecise. Convincing for sure, but not enough to reach the 90 points mark.
My very subjective note: 88+/100