img_8162Camus Cognac is produced from five generations of wine growers in Cognac, France who have successfully kept the tradition of this beautiful spirit alive while also preserving the brands original values. Handing down traditional Cognac production methods, along with undeniable passion from father to son, is just one of the many reasons this cognac is very special.

Distillation is an essential stage in producing Cognac. Camus is marked by an ongoing quest for aromatic finesse, and this family of wine growers is driven by passion and understanding of the land, spirit, and traditions. After distillation comes the next important step, in which then the cellar master takes over.

img_8168This subtle and delicate process is an opportunity to choose the eaux-de-vie, which will be used in the blends for future Cognacs. Thanks to a mastery of double distillation both with and without lees, the cellar master will reveal the wine’s ‘heart’ and soul and bring substance and aromatic complexity to each cuvée. –

Cognac’s great history began with distillation and was introduced in the 15th century as a way of transporting Charente wine without its quality being affected. Distilled wine thus had a smooth beginning to its journey. Move forward to the 17th century, where long voyages across the Atlantic Ocean began, and this eau-de-vie, carefully preserved in the hold, began to age. In the 18th century the English gave this market a structure by setting up ‘trading posts’ which served as intermediaries between Cognac producers and the increasing number of connoisseurs; pretty amazing, right?

vsToday Cognac production is an art which is subject to extremely strict regulatory measures, and has to adhere certain standards to produce consistent quality product. The area became an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in 1938, consisting of six crus: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois à Terroirs. The geographical limits of these crus are based on the geological characteristics of their terroirs, and their boundaries are established by French law.

I recently had lunch at Cognac Basserie, in NYC with Cyril Camus. We tasted through the VS, VSOP, and Borderies blends, which are just some of the cognacs that define this well known brand. Cyril is clearly passionate about the brand and his career. Family is important to him, and I think his history and love for producing stunning cognac really shows within each and every Camus blend.

vsopCognac, like many spirits is an acquired taste that may take a few tastings to develop the palate and passion for consuming and enjoying it. Once you do though, you will open yourself to a great world of fine tastings!

Camus VS Elegance: Bright gold in color with floral notes, hawthorne, and some pleasant oak. On the palate gentle spice and oak are present with striking fruit aromas. This one is expressive of the Charante terroir: delicate fruit and floral aromas.

Camus VSOP Elegance: Prominent jasmine and yellow fruit come through on the nose, with a wonderful smoothness on the palate and structure. Vanilla and spice come through making this very attractive to consume neat. This one is partially distilled on the lees, including some from Camus famous Borderies cru, which strengthens the aromatic richness of it as it ages.

Aging in oak barrels specially selected by CAMUS ensures a great mellowness of character and richness of flavor, accented with delicate woody notes. The barrels used are medium toasted, preserving the original aromas of the eaux-de-vie and producing a Cognac with admirable poise and balance.-

borderies_vsopCamus VSOP Borderies: This 2014 Limited Edition expresses lively mineral driven qualities and floral characters. The wine used for this Cognac came mostly from the Domaines CAMUS estates, and was exclusively distilled on the lees. The long aging process was done in in seasoned casks, which has modified the mineral character of this CAMUS Borderies VSOP. This cognac is a wonderful addition to your bar, makes a great gift, and is a must have this fall season.

Cognac happens to pair with a wide variety of foods such as red meats, roasted vegetables, and even chocolate desserts. This season try pairing your Camus with a petit filet, warm apple crumble, or even a nice slice of dark chocolate cake! Cognac is a must have this fall and winter season, and even makes a great addition to your nightly hot toddy.

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love… Please pair responsibly.