Prunier started off as a Cognac trading company in the 18th century in the port town of La Rochelle before establishing a base in Cognac in the 19th century. Its brandies remain some of the most classic in flavor, with lots of fruit and oak sweetness. Prunier’s VSOP, made from ugni blanc grown in Cognac’s prized Grande Champagne region, is a case in point, with aromas of pear and caramel and rich honey flavors. A slight resin quality and light coffee finish give it extra dimension. The Family Réserve is blended from barrels at least 15 years old (making it essentially an XO) and from a variety of crus within Cognac. It explodes with cherry blossom ﬂ oral scents and a rich-ness of cherry and almond flavors that almost demand a slice of clafoutis. Even Prunier’s 20 Years Old manages to retain a lovely, buttery fruit sweetness, rather than giving it up to the lumberyard essence of so many over-aged spirits.
Prunier VSOP, 40%;
Family Réserve, 40%; 20 Years Old, 40%
Frederick Wildman & Sons, NY
$38 (VSOP); $63 (Family Réserve);
$78 (20 Years Old)
This story appears in the print issue of April 2013.
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