Showing posts with label Cognac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cognac. Show all posts

Monday, February 13, 2023

CAMUS Cognac

CAMUS was founded in 1863 and has been led by five generations of family members who keep the family's commitment to craftsmanship and tradition, while producing what they consider to be the best Cognac in the world.

Cyril Camus has been the company's chief since 2004. He has overseen a strategy begun by his father, Jean-Paul Camus, to extend the estate within the smallest and rarest of the six crus of the Cognac AOC – Borderies. Today, CAMUS is one of the largest landowners in this cru.

CAMUS boasts that they select only the finest vines for use in making their eaux-de-vie. The must is kept unfiltered of its lees to extract the most intense aromatic components. Distillation is exclusively performed by hand in small copper pot stills to preserve the most aromatic elements. The patented technique, called   "Instensity," consists of manually selecting the best aromatic qualities. This unique method, along with aging in smaller, lightly toasted fine grain French Oak barrels, differs from the standard process used by other houses. Thanks to the high concentration of esters, the fruity and floral aromas are incredibly powerful and distinctive in all cognac blends. 

I usually keep my tasting in the realm of wines, but I was given a bottle of CAMUS VSOP to sample. It is a very aromatic Cognac with a high quantity of terpenes (the compounds that give plants their aromas). That creates deep, elegant notes of white flowers and citrus blossoms. 

The tasting experience was great. CAMUS VSOP is indeed a special cognac. Alcohol content is 40% abv (80 proof) and the bottle sells for just under $60. 


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Monday, March 3, 2014

Kalyra Muscat

A little bottle can hold a lot.  The little 375 ml bottle that holds the Kalyra Muscat dessert wine also currently holds my attention, along with my intermittent fascination with sweet wines.

I love sweet wines, but I don't love them all.  Those that I do love, I don't love all the time.  This one carries the qualities that do make me drink sweet - flavor, balanced sweetness and acidity.

Winemaker Mike Brown is Australia-born, but now operates out of Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley.  His dessert wines have been favorites at our house for a number of years, and the little bottle of Muscat pictured and written about here was purchased at the winery on our first visit there, a number of years ago.

This one is a non-vintage wine, and it appears to be slightly different than the current offering in that it has a little more kick to it.  This one hits 18% abv, while the current Kalyra Muscat comes in at 16%.  It's made from Black Muscat grapes and is fortified with brandy.  Also, this older bottle is described on the label as a "product of Australia," while the current product is sourced from Madera County, in California's Central Valley.

The Kalyra website says that the wine has been "aged in the Solero style, which is quite common practice in some regions, particularly in Australia."  Brown says it is "best paired with contrasting flavors like French Vanilla Bean ice cream or crème brulée."

The wine's color is dark brick red, almost brown, like a red with some age on it.  The nose is heavily laden with alcohol (18% abv) and raisiny caramel notes.  It smells like liqueur or sherry with a shot of cognac back.  The palate is just as rich.  Thicker, it might be molasses; sweeter, it could pass for raisin pudding.  The caramel notes are burnt just right and the acidity is rippingly fantastic.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Prévu Sparkling Liqueur

You hear a lot of complaints about PR people if you keep your ears - and your Twitter stream - open.  I’m not one of those complainers, because I’ve known a few folks in the public relations game who have become good friends.  PR contacts have also tipped me off to some interesting things to write about over the years.

I was introduced to a product recently through a public relations message, and I’m rather glad I was.  It’s a sparkling liqueur called Prévu.  The diacritical is only decorative, as the word is pronounced PREE-view.

The label notes do a pretty good job of describing it, so I won’t bother trying to rework the message:

"Prévu is a delicate blend of organic vodka and cognac, immersed with black currant, raspberry, blackberry and a touch of violet flower.  From the Cognac region in France, a harmony like no other." 

The drink is only 17.5% abv, a very reasonable level considering that the two main ingredients are vodka and Cognac.  All the ingredients are 100% organic.

There’s a very light sparkle upon pouring, with a pretty purple tint in the glass.  The nose of cassis is pure and pleasant.  There’s a sparkle felt in the sip, along with a nice, fresh feeling and a touch of alcohol - about the same that one feels with a fortified wine.

Prévu is not, however, anything like a Port-style wine.  It’s light, refreshing and very easy-drinking.  The flavor of the currant is out front, and almost unmasked.  A hint of alcohol on the finish reminds me that it is, in fact, a liqueur.  I like it as an aperitif, all alone.  It also makes a good starter for a cocktail.  I tried a little with an iced coffee, and quite liked it.

Simon Tikhman of Simont Enterprises is the guy behind Prévu, and he’s pretty excited about this new entry into the beverage world.

“Prévu is made in France and shipped to the US for distribution,” says Tikhman.  “Right now, it's distributed only in California.  We're just getting our legs under us, getting ready to take off."

Tikhman sees Prévu’s versatility as a big attraction.  "It’s truly a hybrid, with a lot of variety as to how to drink it, how to mix it.  It goes great with brown or white spirits.  We mix it with Champagne, bourbon - we even make margaritas with it!  Mixologists are getting crazy with Prévu.”  I mentioned that I liked it as an aperitif, and he agreed.  He likes his Prévu with a splash of soda and a twist of lime.

The recipes they were pouring at Taste of L.A. showed the drink’s versatility.  A lychee martini that was developed at Spago and a honey whiskey mix from Craig’s showed the light and the dark sides of it.  Tikhman says the response at the event was fantastic.

Prévu is distributed by Southern Wine and Spirits.  For the time being, it’s a California-only beverage.  The 750 ml decorative bottle retails for $30.

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