Dudognon Heritage 41%
Dudognon. A lovely place located one kilometer away from Lignieres-Sonneville. One of the last cognac houses using coal and wood pot still heating instead of the common gas heating. Less precise, asking to look after very carefully but more traditional and probably giving different eaux-de-vie, especially with small pot stills (8 and 10 hectoliters here). They’re also making (for a small part) their very own casks. Needless to say, they’re quite like a unicorn in the cognac game.
And what about this Dudognon Heritage? It’s a 40yo+ Grande Champagne slowly reduced at 41% with an unknown part of Montils and Folle Blanche (separated distillation for the brouillis when the harvest is sufficient, and that wasn’t the case in 2021 for example).
Colour: Amber, gold lights. Irregular heavy tears.
Nose: Ample note caramelized notes of young bananas and pears. Obvious creaminess melted to roasted notes of ground coffee could let imagine a full tiramisu. Splendid nose. Light menthol notes are surrounded by resinous shades, mainly on cedarwood. Cooked grapes and violet scents remind me a bit of some bourbon noses. Lingering creaminess on fruits yogurt. A tad of tea shades and aniseed notes in the background.
Mouth: Oily texture with acidulous aftertaste on licorice sweets and bourbon vanilla. Trust me, that’s heavily rancioted! Old leather combined with ristretto aromas and its typical bitterness. Banana liquor. Very spicy at the top of the palate: stared anise, cardamom, and caramelized tarragon. Deep complexity but immediate pleasure. A tad of acidity in the aftertaste on young vine peach.
Last Notes: A bit more rancioted now. A heady perfume of potpourri. Still very spicy on coriander and cardamom. Light umami notes on cooked white mushrooms. Still, this previously perceived creaminess on fruity yogurt. Back on the palate, you find camphory and medical tones and a nice aftertaste on licorice sweets. A tad of dry oak notes but it remains a gentle wood influence here. Great citruses notes on orange peel and grapefruit juice surrounded by caramelized orchard notes. It ends on bitter chocolate and a tad of white truffle.
Stunning 40yo+ Grande Champagne, generously rancioted and nicely balanced between fruitiness and spiciness. This Dudognon Heritage could easily become my daily dram.
My very subjective note: 89+/100