Island cognac? That sounds strange not only to die-hard fans of the French fine brandy, as the Charente, the core area of cognac, is located on the mainland in the far west. BUT… the small Île de Ré is located in front of the port town of La Rochelle, on which the Colombard and Ugni Blanc grape varieties from which one can make cognac are grown on around 70 hectares. Following the legal classification of the cognac areas, the little island belongs to the Bois ordinaires. Often, cognac is blended from different sub-areas into one brand, with the areas Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne having the greatest renown. In most cases, it is quite impossible to pinpoint the origin of the brandies used.
Camus: Fine Island Cognac
The situation is different at the Camus cognac house, where the Île de Ré brandies are bottled separately. Located close to the Atlantic, the special terroir of the island results in grapes having a slightly salty note. That, as well as Camus’ distillation protocol, results in a Cognac that has measurably higher levels of esters and terpenes which give the spirit its floral and fruity aromas and flavors. There are three versions of Île de Ré cognac when matured.
Slightly toasted oak barrels and storage in a rather damp basement result in a clear barrel note, which is, however, very round and softly integrated. The flavor is subtle in the finish; overall there are a lot of floral notes.
Camus Cognac: Double Matured
The further development of the Île de Ré Cognac is first stored on the island and then brought to the parent company in Cognac, where very old barrels serve for the second maturation of the cognac. The focus is on the strong wood taste, which places interesting, smoky notes clearly in the foreground. Probably the “Islay” among the cognacs!
Cognac in a cocktail?
Fine brandy is actually a very classic basis for cocktails, but in recent years, it has been neglected in favor of other categories such as whiskey, gin and rum. Nevertheless, brandy, and especially cognac, is ideal for classics, and a perfect playground for creative people.