Les Raisins de l’Abbaye X.O 40%
Located in Asnieres-la-Giraud, in the Fins Bois cru, Les Raisins de L’Abbaye is a brand owned by Madé winegrowers family (35 hectares of vines, 32 dedicated to cognac production). The main part of their production goes to members of the Big 4, but they are bottling few drops for themselves.
Colour: Amber, orange lights. Regular medium tears.
Nose: Heady earthy/leathery notes at first. Light blood orange scents in the background. A little dusty but a nice roundness emerges now, something on apple/quince marmelade. A tad of tinned pear notes too. Hints of licorice. I wasn’t expecting this kind of nose to be honest.
Palate: Dry texture. A little too sugary beginning. Okay-ish mix of citruses (lemon zest, tangerine) and cider apple notes. Hints of verjus. Rounder notes in the aftertaste, but you also get an unpleasant bitterness. It ends with dark notes of licorice and burnt wood.
Last Notes: More pleasant fruity notes with air. Apple stew and dried figs scents. Shy fresh notes surrounded by over-sugary raisins smells. Back on the palate, light cocoa powder notes followed by cider apple aromas. Important oak influence. Short mouth length. Don’t know about the age of the Raisins de l’Abbaye X.O but it feels like 10-15yo. It ends with dry walnuts notes.
Well, this kind of cognac shows the whole discrepancy you can get between the nose and the palate. Probably a more gentle reduction could improve this not-so-bad Fins Bois. 84+ about the nose, 79 about the palate.
My very subjective note: 80+/100