Cognac, France

Most Cognac is produced in huge, industrial distilleries and slickly marketed to the striving bourgeoisie as exclusive lifestyle accoutrements. In stark contrast, Bourgoin Cognac is handcrafted in minuscule quantities by a young brother-and-sister team from a fourth-generation family estate.

Frédéric and Maëlys Bourgoin fashion authentic Cognacs in a completely natural manner from biodynamically-grown grapes. Invariably single vintage, single parcel, and single cask; the distillation date, barrel number, and GPS coordinates of each parcel are marked on each bottle. The eau-de-vie is naturally made from organic fruit that is fermented over indigenous yeasts and distilled in an alembic still-fired over an open flame.

Bourgoin Cognac is crafted without any additives (coloring or sweetening), unfiltered, and completely without sulfur. It is aged over 20 years in Limousin oak, with racking at lunar quadrature and hand-bottled by gravity from a single cask.

Frédéric and Maëlys craft two different Cognacs: Brut de Fût and Microbarrique. The difference lies in variant élevage. The Brut de Fût is aged for 20-25 years in 350-liter neutral barrels and bottled at cask strength.
The Microbarrique is aged (20-25 years) in small 10-liter barrels that have been treated with boursinage crocodile (“alligator char”), a particular process of heavily burning the inside of the barrel in order to catalyze key chemical changes in the wood that will, in turn, affect the interaction of spirit and wood during the aging process. The Microbarrique Cognac is also, prior to bottling, modestly reduced to a lower alcohol level with the addition of purified and oxygenated rainwater.
The goal of both approaches is to deliver a Cognac of a distinctly different profile: pure and terroir-driven, soft and silky with subtle floral and fruity notes, and without intrusive smoky flavors or wood tannins.