Delamain – Le Voyage de Delamain

Le Voyage de Delamain

‘Le Voyage de Delamain’ is a rare and precious Cognac destined for collectors of the greatest eaux-de-vie. This exceptional Cognac is presented in a limited edition Baccarat decanter of which only five hundred have been produced worldwide.

 

What makes this Cognac extraordinary is the blend of extremely old eaux-de-vie that has been nurtured in the famous demi-johns in the Delamain cellars. These glass vessels protect the ancient spirit that has matured in to a veritable treasure. Such an elixir traces the history of Delamain and represents a living archive of the house.

 

Whilst the labels indicating the grand age of the Cognacs have faded, the perfect seal of each demi-john has prevented any evaporation. These treasures from the last century, inestimable and ultra rare should only be seen on exceptional occasions. ‘Le Voyage de Delamain’ invites you to discover the craft of another époque.

 

This Cognac remains in homage to the founder James Delamain, who as a young man returned to France over a century after his family had fled to Ireland. The descendants of James Delamain are still in attendance today, eager to discover the grand eaux-de-vie preserved by their ancestors.

 

The blend of Cognacs reveals a host of subtle sensations: all the perfumes of Russian leather, the musky aroma of the tropics, the heady scent of tobacco from the Americas, of coffee from Africa heralding the spicy hints of the Far East and finally the bouquet of grapes from the hillsides of the Grande Champagne.

 

‘Le Voyage de Delamain’ is the heart of the jewel, housed in a magnificent Baccarat decanter with the purest curves and lines and surrounded by an exquisite leather casket evoking the traditional bellows used for luggage in times gone by.

Le Voyage de Delamain ‘Le Voyage de Delamain’ is a rare and precious Cognac destined for collectors of the greatest eaux-de-vie. This exceptional Cognac is presented in a limited edition Baccarat decanter of which only five hundred have been produced …

Delamain Vintage 1973

Delamain Vintage 1973

 

Cognac is above all, a product of blending. Indeed, the marriage of Cognacs, from different years and soils, offers a constant quality over the years, for decades even.

It is above all thanks to its mastering of the art of blending that Delamain was able to establish its reputation, for example with Pale and Dry X.O, real signature of the house since 1920.

 

GROWTH : 100% Grande Champagne : the first growth of Cognac.

 
ORIGIN : a grower distiller situated at Saint-Même.

 
SINGLE CASK : unlike the other blended cognacs of our range (Pale & Dry XO,Vesper…) this Vintage cognac is a single cask cognac.

 
AGE : the year shown on the label of Delamain Vintage Cognac is the year when the
grapes were harvested and legally distillation must take place before the end
of March of the following year. The bottling year is printed on the back label.

 
CASK : Matured in 350 L well seasoned French oak casks.

 
CELLAR : one of our old cellars (more humid than dry) on the banks of the Charente
river is specialised in the ageing of single Vintage Cognacs, locked and
controlled by the Authority.

 
REDUCING PROCESS : The cognac at natural strength (around 50% vol.) is very slowly
reduced at 40%.

 
STYLE : A Grande Champagne cognac very fruity and elegant.

 
BOUQUET : Power of the perfumes, length of the fragrance. Underwood aromas, dry
grapes, grilled almonds, rancio.

 
SAVOUR : Long and fruity.

 
COLOUR : Each cask imparts its own colour to the cognac : generally paler and more
brilliant than most of the other old cognacs.

 
AVAILABILITY : Limited amount of bottles.

Delamain Vintage 1973   Cognac is above all, a product of blending. Indeed, the marriage of Cognacs, from different years and soils, offers a constant quality over the years, for decades even. It is above all thanks to its mastering …

Delamain Vintage Cognacs

Delamain Vintage 1980

Cognac is above all, a product of blending. Indeed, the marriage of Cognacs, from different years and soils, offers a constant quality over the years, for decades even. It is above all thanks to its mastering of the art of blending that Delamain was able to establish its reputation, for example with Pale and Dry X.O, real signature of the house since 1920.

 

The House of Delamain proposes small batches of Vintage Cognacs. These are exceptional Cognacs with unique characteristics that evolved not only according to their soils of origin and their years but also according to the conditions of ageing. Delamain has dedicated one of its best cellars to the exclusive breeding of these Cognacs. This cellar is strictly controlled by the BNIC. Situated in Jarnac, on the banks of the Charente river, it benefits from an ideal degree of hygrometry for the ageing of Cognacs. Delamain imposed on itself a strict process for the control of the ageing of its Vintage Cognacs by placing this cellar under the strict control of the BNIC, The Cognac Trade Association. A BNIC ‘s Controller detains one of the keys of this double locked cellar while the Cellar Master keeps the other key. Naturally the first needs the second to be present in order to open the door.

 

Year after year, Delamain selects batches of young Cognacs issued from various estates in Grande Champagne. These Cognacs are accommodated in well-seasoned casks to protect their specificity of origin: finesse and elegance. They are then double- locked into the cellar. Every year, Delamain selects from this cellar small lots of old Cognacs, thirty-year-old at least. These are then bottled, one cask after another, without blending. The delivery, as well as the bottling, occurs in the presence of the Controller. Sales are also scrutinized, a copy of every invoice being passed on to the BNIC.

 

Every entry and every release of Cognac from the “Vintage Cellar” being made under the control of the BNIC, the House of Delamain may release these Vintage Cognacs in complete respect of the law. All the details of the production are indicated on the bottle, the bottling date is printed on the back label. Indeed, the vintage alone is not a sufficient piece of information as the difference between both Vintage-Bottling dates indicates the duration of ageing under wood, thus the real age of the Cognac.

 

These Cognacs, available in very limited quantity, are references in terms of age and quality; they are dedicated to true connoisseurs who seek the unique distinction of wonderful and old Grande Champagne. While BNIC guarantees the Vintage, the exceptional quality of these old Cognacs, is guaranteed by the signature of the House Delamain.

Delamain Vintage 1980 Cognac is above all, a product of blending. Indeed, the marriage of Cognacs, from different years and soils, offers a constant quality over the years, for decades even. It is above all thanks to its mastering of …

Delamain Réserve de la Famille

Delamain Très Vénérable

 

 

The most limited edition of all, Delamain’s “Family Reserve” consists of a few bottles of very old brandy whose quality and distinction have been deemed so exceptional that it can be offered intact, i.e. totally unblended : a diamond of unmatched purity, miraculously carved by nature.

 

At present, the Family Reserve comes from a brandy distilled after the Second World War by a master “bouilleur de cru” (grower-distiller) at his property near Saint Preuil, in the heart of the Grande Champagne.

 

After many years of aging in wood, the Cognac has fully developed to attain the Delamain standard of perfection, its natural strength is 43 %.

For this precious brandy, the Delamains have chosen the traditional “cognaçaise” bottle.

 

This exceptionally rare Cognac was until recently reserved for the guests and friends of the Delamain family.

 

Tasting notes:

 

Growth : 100% Grande Champagne.

 

Origin : Selection from local growers-distillers.

 

Totally unblended : single vineyard and single cask.

 

Age : The maximum length a Cognac can improve in cask.

 

Cask : Matured in well seasoned Limousin oak casks (350L).

 

Cellar : Old cellars near the river, more humid than dry.

 

Style : Our standard of perfection. Extraordinary delicacy in a rich flavorful Cognac.

 

Bouquet and savor : From a cask to another one, the Cognac is different but, to our mind, always a diamond of unmatched purity miraculously carved by nature.

 

Color : Each cask imparts its own color to the Cognac : no regularity but generally paler and more brilliant than most of the other top of the range Cognacs.

 

Natural strength : 43% vol.

 

Name: La Réserve de la Famille, an Exceptionally rare Cognac, the kind of Cognac we reserve for our guests and friends.

Delamain Très Vénérable     The most limited edition of all, Delamain’s “Family Reserve” consists of a few bottles of very old brandy whose quality and distinction have been deemed so exceptional that it can be offered intact, i.e. totally …

Delamain Très Vénérable

Delamain Très Vénérable

This Cognac, essentially a very old Pale & Dry, is the oldest in Delamain’s standard range.

 

Très Vénérable Cognac is considerably paler than Vesper. Its color is a brilliant amber-topaz, with a wonderful soft golden clarity.

 

Its fragrance is so assertive yet so tender as to be irresistible. The bewitching and indescribable complex of aromas blossoms into an unexpectedly refreshing sensation, subtly evocative of liquorice, that lingers interminably in the mouth.

 

This Cognac’s distinction is inimitable but even more so is its perfect balance. Every characteristic is matched by its exact opposite, in order to avoid all excess : the deep, inexhaustible maturity of its bouquet concealed behind an apparent lightness ; the intense liveliness of its “bite” that leaves only a lingering, velvety caress. It is a Cognac for the connoisseur.

 

Tasting notes:

 

Growth : 100% Grande Champagne.

 

Origin : Selection from local growers-distillers.

 

Blend : Blend of various old Grande Champagne Cognacs.

 

Ageing : This blend of extremely old Grande Champagne Cognacs has benefited from maximum barrel ageing, owing to their origin and then the blend itself, made at the end of the ageing period, is aged for two years more (marriage).

 

Cask : Matured in well seasoned Limousin oak casks (350L).

 

Cellar : Old cellars near the river, more humid than dry.

 

Faibles : The blend at natural strength (around 50% vol.) is very slowly broken down at 40% with weak old Grande Champagne at 15% which enrich the blend.

 

Style : Extraordinary delicacy in a rich flavorful Cognac. Length, full maturity and mellowness.

 

Bouquet : Power of the perfumes, length of the fragrance. Perfect balance between maturity of the bouquet and apparent lightness. Floral and spice aromas give way to complex scents of underwood, raisins, vanilla, liquorice, honey (rancio).

 

Savor : Fullness, deep maturity, extreme mellowness. Intense and complex fruitiness. Assertive yet tender fragrance.

 

Color : Brilliant amber-topaz with a wonderful soft golden clarity.

 

Strength : 40% vol.

 

Name : “Très Vénérable” was named for its venerable status, the maximum age to which Cognac can improve.

 

Delamain Très Vénérable This Cognac, essentially a very old Pale & Dry, is the oldest in Delamain’s standard range.   Très Vénérable Cognac is considerably paler than Vesper. Its color is a brilliant amber-topaz, with a wonderful soft golden clarity. …

Delamain Extra Grande Champagne

Delamain Extra Grande Champagne

Older than Pale & Dry XO and Vesper, the EXTRA de Grande Champagne shows deep maturity and a full-bodied bouquet. It is the perfect expression of an old Cognac from Grande Champagne.

 

The EXTRA de Grande Champagne is an original decanter, designed and blown for Delamain. The shield on the decanter, comes from an original plate made by Henry Delamain in 1762 at his delftware factory in Dublin for the wedding of his nephew James Delamain to Marie Ranson.

 

This shield carries the Ranson and the Delamain arms interlaced. James’ marriage, celebrated in Jarnac in France on the 24th of November 1762, marked the beginning of the Delamain’s involvement in the Cognac trade.

Tasting notes:

Growth : 100% Grande Champagne.

 

Origin : Selection from local growers-distillers.

 

Blend : Blend of selected old Grande Champagne Cognacs.

 

Ageing : Each Cognacs are aged separately (longer than for the Pale & Dry or Vesper), owing to their origin and then the blend itself, made at the end of the ageing period, is aged for two years more (marriage).

 

Cask : Matured in well seasoned Limousin oak casks (350L).

 

Cellar : Old cellars near the river, more humid than dry.

 

Faibles : The blend at natural strength is very slowly broken down at 40% with weak old Grande Champagne at 15% which enrich the blend.

 

Style : it shows deep maturity and a full-bodied bouquet. It is the perfect expression of an old Cognac from Grande Champagne.

 

Bouquet : Power of the perfumes, length of the fragrance.

 

Savor : Fullness, deep maturity, mellowness. Intense and complex fruitiness.

 

Color : Brilliant amber-topaz with a wonderful soft golden clarity.

 

Strength : 40% vol.

 

Name : EXTRA appellation is an existing Cognac category far superior to the X.O. Delamain’s EXTRA is the rare one issued exclusively from the Premier Cru area : the Grande Champagne.

Delamain Extra Grande Champagne Older than Pale & Dry XO and Vesper, the EXTRA de Grande Champagne shows deep maturity and a full-bodied bouquet. It is the perfect expression of an old Cognac from Grande Champagne.   The EXTRA de …

Delamain Vesper

Delamain Vesper

 

Created in the 1950s, this Grande Champagne Cognac has a more classic character.

 

The brandies that compose this blend are older than those used for Pale & Dry. Vesper has a distinctly more amber hue, with a bright glint of pure gold.

 

Its suave bouquet reveals its complexity in the glass: a hint of oak soon gives way to scents of underwood, dry vine shoots, vanilla and, finally, sunburnt grape pips.

 

Then one must “sacrifice” the bouquet by swallowing the Cognac and letting it reach every part of one’s mouth, where the same delights will linger on majestically.

 

Vesper’s fullness, maturity and extreme mellowness make it a choice companion for an after-dinner moment of relaxation.

 

Tasting notes:

 

Growth : 100% Grande Champagne.

 

Origin : Selection from local growers-distillers.

 

Blend : Blend of various old Grande Champagne Cognacs.

 

Ageing: Each Cognacs are aged separately longer than for the Pale & Dry, owing to their origin and then the blend itself, made at the end of the ageing period, is aged for two years more (marriage).

 

Cask : Matured in well seasoned Limousin oak casks (350L).

 

Cellar : Old cellars near the river, more humid than dry.

 

Faibles : The blend at natural strength (around 50% vol.) is very slowly broken down at 40% with weak old Grande Champagne at 15% which enrich the blend.

 

Style : Roundness, body, length, maturity and mellowness.

 

Bouquet : Power of the perfumes, length of the fragrance. Suavity. Scents of underwood, dry vine shoots, vanilla (rancio).

 

Savor : Fullness, maturity, extreme mellowness. Intense fruitiness.

 

Color : Amber hue with a bright glint of pure gold.

 

Strength : 40% vol.

 

Name : Vesper, from the sixth canonical hour celebrated each late-afternoon in song to reflect its richness and the worshipful sense it imparts.

 

Delamain Vesper   Created in the 1950s, this Grande Champagne Cognac has a more classic character.   The brandies that compose this blend are older than those used for Pale & Dry. Vesper has a distinctly more amber hue, with …

Delamain Pale and Dry XO

Delamain Pale and Dry XO

Developed in the 1920s, this Grande Champagne Cognac is the house’s main and most representative product (eighty per cent of the firm’s output).

 

It is extremely clear and bright, much paler than any other traditional Cognac. Its colour is an intensely brilliant and velvety gold. Pale & Dry is composed of old brandies from properties in the Grande Champagne. This average age gives Pale & Dry a mellowness that penetrates the Cognac’s lively and very fine “bite”.

 

The final blend, itself aged for two years, is enriched with a small amount of “weak old” Grande Champagne brandies (vieilles faibles). These have lost virtually all their alcohol content, but contribute an irreplaceable fragrance of sun-dried grapes.

 

On the palate, the bouquet acquires an intense fruitiness, accompanied by floral scents and a lingering aftertaste of vanilla subtly laced with liquorice.

 

Tasting notes:

 

 

Growth : 100% Grande Champagne.
Origin : Selection from local growers-distillers.

Blend : Blend of various old Grande Champagne Cognacs.

Ageing : Each Cognacs are aged separately during many long years owing to their origin and then the blend itself, made at the end of the ageing period, is aged for two years more (marriage).

Cask : Matured in well seasoned Limousin oak casks (350L).

Cellar : Old cellars near the river, more humid than dry.

Faibles : The blend at natural strength (around 55% vol.) is very slowly broken down at 40% with weak old Grande Champagne at 15% which enrich the blend.

Style : Delicacy, length, fruitiness and mellowness.

Bouquet : Power of the perfumes, length of the fragrance. Floral scents, lingering aftertaste of vanilla (rancio).

Savor : Mellowness, roundness, age. Intense fruitiness.

Color : Extremely clear and bright, brilliant and velvety gold.

Strength : 40% vol.

Name : Pale & Dry, “Pale” because it is much paler than other Cognacs of this age due to the natural pale color of the Cognacs used in the blend which are all matured in old casks and “Dry” because it has only its natural sweetness.

Delamain Pale and Dry XO Developed in the 1920s, this Grande Champagne Cognac is the house’s main and most representative product (eighty per cent of the firm’s output).   It is extremely clear and bright, much paler than any other …

Delamain – Brand Information

Delamain

“The Delamains, a Jarnac firm and family, are Protestants. Originally from Saintonge, one member of the family travelled to London in 1625 as chef-de-suite to Henrietta-Maria, bride of Charles I. Deciding to stay in a country more hospitable than his own to his religion, Nicholas Delamain was knighted in 1639, and settled in Ireland as a Protestant landowner, and one of the Farmers-General of Ireland. One descendant was the Dublin potter, Henry Delamain, who was granted £ 100 by the Irish Parliament in 1753 for having been the first to fire delftware with coals, ‘as well as was ever done with turf and wood.’ (“The Irish Georgian Group put on a splendid exhibition of his work at Castletown House, near Dublin, in 1971″). Cyril Ray, Cognac, P. 44.

 

Since this work was published, some of Henry Delamain’s finest delftware has been illustrated in a series of stamps issued by the Republic of Ireland.

 

Henry’s nephew James, son of the constable of Dublin Castle, returned in 1759 to the land of his forefathers and entered the Cognac trade. In 1762, James became a partner of his father-in-law, Isaac Ranson, head of a well-established Jarnac firm that had been shipping Cognac to Ireland and Holland since 1725.

 

After the upheavals of the Revolution and Empire, the Restoration (1815) marked the take-off of the Cognac trade. With his Roullet cousins, James’s grandson Henry Delamain founded in 1824 the house of Roullet and Delamain, which stayed in business under this name for four generations. In 1920, the Delamain family was left as sole owner, and the firm’s name was changed to Delamain & C°.

Thus, the origins of the house of Delamain can be traced back to the very beginning of the Cognac trade, and make the firm one of the oldest names in the business.

 

Thanks to this long family tradition, the Delamains have successfully established and maintained a mutually trusting relationship with the grower-distillers of the region. This has enabled the firm to obtain brandies from the best sources, i.e. in the choice “Grande Champagne” district, which alone can provide a quality that meets Delamain’s exacting standards.

 

The very distinctive character of the house of Delamain never fails to surprise those visitors to Jarnac who expect to find the firm installed on spacious and luxurious premises similar to those of other famous Cognac houses. The Delamains prefer a more intimate setting. Their small offices are tucked away in a narrow, secluded street. Only a nameplate on the plain door of its elegant façade distinguishes the Delamain townhouse from the adjoining buildings. The back windows look out on an exquisite bower that seems to have preserved the secrets of all the children and adolescents who ever played there. The tastefully decorated interior, filled with memorabilia accumulated by successive generations, is an expression of the family spirit. This is not the place for flashy modern design. The offices are still those of the counting-house of old -and the sheen on the furniture is that of passing years.

 

Above all else, the Delamains are humanists. They consider trade to be no more than a means of satisfying their aesthetic needs, to which, like all good Charentais, they attach the highest importance.

 

Among the firm’s more recent directors, Jacques Delamain was a pioneer in France of modern ornithology and nature studies. He wrote several celebrated books on bird life, one of which won a prize from the Académie Française. His son Jean, a botanist, was one of the leading authorities on the wild orchids of Europe : some rare hybrids bear his name. Robert, one of Jacques’ two brothers, displayed his deep knowledge of the Cognac region and its past in L’Histoire du Cognac (1935), now a standard reference work for Cognac-lovers and specialists. Jacques’ other brother, Maurice, owned and managed the Stock publishing house in Paris in partnership with the writer Jacques Chardonne.

 

The Delamain brothers’ loyal friends included many other writers, artists and intellectuals.

 

The Delamains have always abided by the simple principle that loyalty and a personal signature on a work are part of the natural order of things. Their ambition is not to please at any price : they are happy enough -if one may say so -in the knowledge that their taste and their personal notion of Cognac’s clarity of expression are recognized and intensely appreciated by the world’s finest connoisseurs. Their sole concern is to live up to these standards and remain true to their ideal.

 

The firm’s directors have always personally supervised the key stages in Cognac-making : purchasing brandies, maturing, blending, and proof-reduction. This explains why the product’s character is so remarkably consistent, and why its uniqueness can be unfailingly reproduced year after year despite the ever-changing nature of the ingredients.

 

Today, Patrick Peyrelongue and Charles Braastad, whose grandmother where  Delamain, run the firm in accordance with these same family principles. Steeped in this family heritage, they are pursuing the goal defined several generations ago : that of achieving Cognac’s noblest expression.

 

The Delamain “style”

 

Despite the imposing presence of an antique pot-still in their warehouse, the Delamains, true to the distinctive character of Cognac shipping houses, do not distill their brandies themselves. Instead, they purchase them from the best grower-distillers and continue or complete the aging process on their own premises. The matured brandies are then blended to produce the three traditional varieties of Delamain Cognac :

 

– Pale & Dry X.O Très belle Grande Champagne

– Vesper Grande Champagne

– Très Vénérable Cognac de Grande Champagne

 

The annual sales volume of Delamain Cognac is minimal compared to those of the big commercial brands ; nevertheless, they are sufficient to make Delamain grace the world’s finest tables. True, Delamain sales are confined to the very small market for premium-quality Cognacs, which account for only ten percent of total Cognac output. But this policy is deliberate. The house of Delamain remains a place of craftsmanship : bottles are washed and rinsed with Cognac before filling ; after filling, they are individually checked, hand-labelled and sealed with gilt netting as in the early days, when capsules were not yet used.

 

The workforce is very small : some twenty employees altogether. The premises may aptly be described as a craftman’s workshop filled with beguiling scents and precious flasks. Admittedly, the “bottling line” may raise a smile, as may the presence in the courtyard of a venerable wheelbarrow, in use since time immemorial. But the relaxed, confident manner of the colorful maître de chai (cellar-master) is a sure sign that “the heart of the matter lies elsewhere.”

 

Delamain’s objective is simple : to offer the finest, purest, most authentic expression of Cognac. The idea is simple, but it is most difficult indeed to fulfil.

 

The finest brandies obviously come from the best vineyards of the Grande Champagne. They are purchased only after tasting, even from grower-distiller families with whom the Delamains have maintained ties of mutual loyalty for over a century.

 

Moreover, it would be impossible for Delamain to mature all of its Grande Champagne brandies from start to finish. This would require enormous warehouses and investments. Growers actually often prefer to hold on to some of their finest brandies as long as possible in order to sell them at the highest price and to provide themselves with a hedge against hard times.

 

The task of a quality-conscious négociant is to seek out these treasures in the country warehouses where they are held by growers who are never in a hurry to sell. The négociant must also be on the lookout for sales of old brandies. At present, such transactions are particularly sensitive, so rare and small are the stocks remaining in the hands of local grower-distiller families. Purchaser loyalty to good producers is also a major guarantee of quality. For example, a number of Delamain’s suppliers distil and mature their brandies in compliance with the house’s recommendations, so as to develop the characteristics of the finished product.

 

A Cognac’s authenticity and purity are evident as soon as the colourless brandy emerges from the pot-still at 70 % alcohol. The spirit gives off a miraculously exquisite fragrance of vine in flower.

 

This perfume was latent in the wine ; it must now be preserved so as to be delivered intact in the glass of whoever will enjoy it twenty or forty years or more hence. For this, Cognac must be subjected to the most beneficial yet dangerous treatment imaginable : aging in wood. If improperly managed, aging can disguise, distort, dry out or quite simply destroy a brandy -no matter how fine.

 

The cardinal virtue of Delamain Cognacs, so often invoked by connoisseurs in describing them, is unquestionably their diaphanous lightness. This characteristic

helps to accentuate Cognac’s proverbial tonic qualities. In a certain sense, it also perpetuates a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, when the region’s table wines were famed for their delicacy. However, the lightness of Delamain Cognacs in no way diminishes their breadth, structure, “backbone” and liveliness-which form a balance that the greatest connoisseurs find unequalled.

 

4. The Delamain signature

 

Their six Cognacs described in the following pages are characterized by a single, consistent style: a miraculous balance in which strength, vitality and mellowness blend into pure, diaphanous unity. That is the Delamain signature.

Delamain “The Delamains, a Jarnac firm and family, are Protestants. Originally from Saintonge, one member of the family travelled to London in 1625 as chef-de-suite to Henrietta-Maria, bride of Charles I. Deciding to stay in a country more hospitable than …