By Suzan Ryan, editor bars&clubs
Martell is celebrating its 300th anniversary with the release of new blend, Martell Premier Voyage. Cellar Master Benoît Fil created Martell Premier Voyage, from a blend of 18 eaux-de-vie stored in Martell’s cellars.
The tricentennary bottle is encased in a trio of metal arcs divided into three clusters that surround the teardrop-shaped Sèvres crystal decanter. The eye-catching display was designed by French artist, Bernar Venet. The blend can only be drawn from the sculpture with a fusil; a special pipette used by the Cellar Master to extract and taste eaux-de-vie from the barrels.
Using Jean Martell’s original correspondence, Fil pieced together a map of Jean Martell’s key suppliers from 1735-1742, and began to retrace his footsteps 300 years on. Visiting winegrowers just as Jean Martell did generations before him, Fil sampled eaux-de-vie and met with the winegrowing families whose ancestors had originally supplied the brand’s founder. After crafting the blend and then ageing in barrels made from the oak of a 300 year-old tree, Martell Premier Voyage was born as an homage to Jean Martell.
“The desire was to create a blend that reflected the journey and history of Jean Martell,” says Benoît Fil, Martell’s Cellar Master and creator of Martell Premier Voyage.
“We had access in our archives to the exact geographical locations that he went to. Therefore, we were able to visit the descendants of these winegrowers who today create the best quality eaux-de-vie.
"Martell Premier Voyage takes the best things from the past of Cognac and Jean Martell’s vision and makes them something we can enjoy today.”
The nose presents initially generous notes of candied orange peel, blackcurrant, honey and gingerbread. Swirling reveals subtle notes of old walnuts combined with generous notes of dried fruit, apricots and raisins. On the palate the attack is both full and delicate, with generous aromas of candied fruit still discernible.
Martell Premier Voyage develops a hint of blackcurrant, providing a perfect complement to a very rich and elegant aromatic range and underpinning a long finish in which notes of spice and beeswax come to the forefront.
Just 300 bottles are available. Each is individually signed, numbered and produced to order, and priced at 10,000 euros. A registration list is now open and accepting enquiries.