Cognac is the undisputed of king of brandies.  Hailing from southwest France’s cognac commune, through distillation, it turns drearily acidic white wines made from the likes of ugni blanc and colombard into liquid gold.  Through long cask ageing in French oak, the best cognacs – such as those from Delamain – are rich, warming, mellow and magnificent.

MWH Wines has acquired a collection of Delamain’s finest and rarest cognacs, including some early landed and vintage cognacs.   To commemorate this exceptional find, we’ve put together this blog on all things Delamain in order to demonstrate why for us, Delamain isn’t simply one of the best cognac producers, it's THE best.  

We hope you will find this article to be of interest, but if you’d like to know more or would like to buy some Delamain, please browse our Delamain cognac collection here or call Mike on 0118 984 4654.  An acknowledged expert on cognac, he’ll be happy to recommend the one that’s right for you.

About Delamain Cognac

Maison Delamain is based in the heart of cognac in Jarnac.  The 18th-century house lies on the banks of the Charente river, and it’s from their ancient stone cellars that generations of the Delamain family have produced their stunning cognacs.  Founded in 1824 by Henri Delamain, respect for history and tradition are at the root of everything the House produces.

While some larger, less quality-fixated producers have adapted their methods of production, Delamain has retained its traditional pursuit of perfection.  For example, they don’t add water to reduce the alcoholic volume of their post-distillation spirit of 70% to 40%; rather, they use a ‘low’ alcohol cognac to maintain the purity.

The grapes they use also come from 100% Grande Champagne vineyards – the most highly rated and prized – rather than a blend of Grande and Petite Champagne as many do.  They also don’t believe in using terms like VS (very special) or VSOP (very special old pale) on their labels.  Delamain believe the essential ingredient to making sublime cognac is the most expensive one, time.  The House affords all of its cognacs long ageing periods in oak before release, only bottling them when they are at their peak.

This combination of heritage, using only exceptional fruit, and a patient commitment to producing cognacs that are worthy of the family name, makes Delamain the finest cognacs you can buy.

What Is Vintage Cognac?

A vintage cognac is one that’s made from a single year’s harvest.  Like champagne, vintage cognacs are only made in exceptional years and in tiny quantities.  To many cognac connoisseurs, vintage cognacs are the pinnacle of cognac excellence.  As part of MWH Wines’ Delamain Cognac Collection, we’ve been fortunate enough to acquire some vintage cognacs. 

What Is An Early Landed Cognac?

This is another quirk – and a very British one at that.  On many of our vintage cognacs, you will see a ‘landed’ date on the bottle.  This means that the Cognac was shipped in cask to Britain and aged in merchant’s cellars rather than at Producers.  While this started as a necessity – shipping bottled cognacs is a relatively modern innovation – many found that ageing them in the cooler cellars of ports like Bristol and London further improved the flavour.  Many of MWH’s collection of Delamain’s cognacs are in this rare form.

What Does Delamain Cognac Taste Like?

Given the variety of vintages we have to offer and the different conditions these have produced, it’s impossible to give a blanket assessment, the 1970 Delamain tastes rather different to the Delamain 1995.   Having tasted these and a number of other Delamain’s cognacs over the years, we can offer an insight into the beautiful house style with the following tasting note:

“Dark oak colouration with amber and gold highlights at the rim.  Complex nose of dried white fruits, vanilla, honey, straw, and rich, warm spices.  The palate is rich yet elegantly lifted.  The warming nature of the spirit doesn’t overpower but reinforces the fruity, spicy tones and adds layers of caramel, citrus peel, nutmeg, and menthol.  Impeccably balanced, fine, and mellow, the finish lasts for well over a minute.”

Buying Delamain Cognac

MWH currently has a collection of ultra-rare early landed vintage Delamain cognacs for sale.  You can browse our Delamain Cognac Collection here, but if you’d like to know more, please call Mike on 0118 984 4654.  An acknowledged expert on cognac, he’ll be happy to recommend the one for you.