Dudognon Cognac 10 Year Reserve, France (750 ml)

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Dudognon is one of the oldest and most respected estates in Cognac's heart: the Grande Champagne. Here the region's famous chalky soils are most pure creating spirits with hard minerality and elegant finesse. The Dudognon vineyards are notable for not using pesticide or herbicide -- a relative anomaly in the region. The hands-off approach continues to the cellar and bottling, where the only addition is water. The reserve bottling is a relatively light color because it averages 10 years of age and is unadulterated by any added caramel coloring. The immediately recognizable delicate, pale straw color continues to the cognac's lovely, but understated aromas. That's not to say that the aromas are not there, but they focus on sea salt, lemon skin, and violet over the rich butterscotch flavors of more manipulated brandies. The palate starts a bit simple with tones of vanilla, French oak, and more floral tones. It then finishes with a fairly hard mineral/tannic kick. A very good cognac that hints at the greatness that Dudognon can achieve when allowed to rest. Kudos for showing Grande Champagne's strength as a young spirit without the handicapping of sugary additions

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