Maison Martell presents the Single Cru Collection | Martell Pressroom (2024)

September, 2023

For over 300 years, Maison Martell has plunged its roots deep into the soils of the Cognac region, aiming always to express the authentic essence of the terroir. Now, with the Martell Single Cru collection, it is revealing the distinctive taste and unique personality of each individual terroir – each cru – in a way it has never done before. To present this exclusive new collection, which represents just 1% of Martell cognacs and is being released in limited quantities from autumn 2023, the House invited its most important Chinese clients and the international press to Cognac. Here, they embarked on an exceptional journey to discover the origins and essence of Martell Single Cru. Their exploration of the Martell terroirs took them from the Cellar Master’s Atelier to the Château de Chanteloup, from the Gallienne distillery to the vineyard, and culminated in two gala dinners, created by Michelin three-star chef Alexandre Mazzia in collaboration with Martell Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud, which further elevated their experience of the Martell Single Cru collection.

Maison Martell: True to the terroir since 1715

Jean Martell, who founded Maison Martell in 1715, travelled the length and breadth of the Cognac region, becoming known for his profound attachment to and in-depth knowledge of the terroir. These came together in his visionary approach to cognac. He took a keen interest in eaux-de-vie – notably the different crus, with their specific aromas and potential for ageing – at a time when cognac-making was still in its infancy, and more than a century before the first maps of the region’s crus were drawn up. Inspired by his innovative vision, generations of Martell Cellar Masters have perpetuated a unique savoir-faire in expressing the quintessence of the Cognac terroir – an expertise that culminates in the Martell Single Cru collection, created by the House’s ninth Cellar Master, Christophe Valtaud.

Unrivalled and uncompromising savoir-faire

The personality of a cognac is shaped by the terroir which produces its eaux-de-vie. Each cru is associated with a distinct aromatic profile and a specific ageing potential, linked to factors including its geographical situation, its soil, climate and exposure, as well as the quality of its grapes. Fins Bois, with its reddish clay and limestone soils, is known for its light, airy eaux-de-vie, whereas the greyish, chalky soils of Petite Champagne produce fine, structured eaux-de-vie with vigour and length on the palate. The Borderies cru, meanwhile, is famous for producing delicate, elegant eaux-de-vie with pronounced aromas of flowers and candied fruit, while the chalk and limestone soils of Grande Champagne yield eaux-de-vie with aromatic richness and power.

In order to respect the authentic expression of the different crus, Maison Martell distils only clear wines and ages its eaux-de-vie exclusively in barrels of fine-grained oak, thus minimising the impact of lees and wood. Moreover, eaux-de-vie from these four terroirs – the four finest in the Cognac region – are aged separately in the Martell cellars. It is this unrivalled and uncompromising savoir-faire which attains its purest expression with the Martell Single Cru collection.

Martell Single Cru: a world of exciting taste sensations

Martell Single Cru represents an important landmark in the 300-year history of Maison Martell in that, for the first time, every cognac in the collection is crafted with eaux-de-vie sourced from a single terroir. Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud selects only those eaux-de-vie which can give the most precise and the most authentic expression of each terroir – a process so rigorous that he retains fewer than 400 of the 11,000 eaux-de-vie available to him in the Martell reserves, which explains the rarity of the collection. Martell Single Cru is thus a unique invitation to explore a world of thrilling new taste sensations, each one an authentic expression of the richness and diversity of the Cognac region. Structured in three ascending editions, right up to a selection of rare or extra-rare vintages, the collection will be enriched over time, with each new release representing a fresh discovery of the House’s terroirs, an exploration of new taste sensations.

FINS BOIS

is known for its light, airy eaux-de-vie with an aromatic profile of fresh fruit, in particular pear and peach.

PETITE CHAMPAGNE

produces fine eaux-de-vie which offer structure and length on the palate. They are distinguished by notes of nuts, red and dried fruit.

GRANDE CHAMPAGNE

the signature cru of Maison Martell since 1715, produces subtle, elegant eaux-de-vie with luscious aromas of flowers and candied fruit.

BORDERIES

is renowned for the aromatic richness of its eaux-de-vie, which are characterized by notes of pepper, nuts and red fruit, as well as their excellent potential for ageing.

Martell Single Cru Collection: The Discovery Edition

Maison Martell presents the Single Cru Collection | Martell Pressroom (1)

This first edition is an ideal introduction to the collection, and a perfect starting point for an aromatic exploration of the Cognac region. Martell Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud has crafted three cognacs from eaux-de-vie sourced from a single cru in order to reveal the authentic taste and unique personality of each. Martell Single Cru 100% Fins Bois invigorates the senses with lush, juicy fruit, for a vibrant, fragrant sensation on the palate, Martell Single Cru 100% Petite Champagne is intense and spicy, bursting with warm spices and rich nuts, while Martell 100% Borderies rolls over the tongue with sweet fruit and subtle florals, leaving a delicious impression of fullness.

Martell Single Cru Collection: Aged Edition

Maison Martell presents the Single Cru Collection | Martell Pressroom (2)
Maison Martell presents the Single Cru Collection | Martell Pressroom (3)

This second edition continues the exploration with Borderies and Grande Champagne, the two most exclusive Cognac terroirs, which were singled out by Jean Martell himself as early as the 18th century. For the Aged Edition, Christophe Valtaud has made a precise selection of eaux-de-vie which not only express the essence of each prestigious terroir, but are also remarkable for their age. An eau-de-vie evolves throughout the ageing process, and these two cognacs have benefited from many years of ageing to develop new organoleptic properties, attaining an aromatic richness that is exceptional in the case of an XO, and reaches a form of plenitude for an XXO

  • Martell Single Cru XO Grande Champagne reveals the full potential of this terroir. With young Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie, the impression is predominantly one of power and structure. With older eaux-de-vie, this cognac is enriched with notes of nuts and dried fruit, as well as overtones of wood, reaching a perfect balance between power and fruitiness.
  • Martell Single Cru XXO Borderies is blended from eaux-de-vie that have attained their aromatic plenitude. Expressing all the subtlety and complexity of the Borderies cru at an ideal stage of the ageing process for this terroir, Martell Single Cru XXO Borderies demonstrates incomparable richness and fullness, overflowing with luscious fruity notes.

The Aged Edition will be enriched every year, always crafted from rare Borderies and Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie, and released in small batches in individually numbered bottles.

Martell Single Cru Collection: Vintage Edition

Maison Martell presents the Single Cru Collection | Martell Pressroom (4)

With the Vintage Edition, the exploration of Maison Martell’s terroirs reaches its culmination. This exceptional cognac represents the encounter between a terroir and a year, with its specific climatic conditions – a rare event, in that it only happens once. Here, the Cellar Master’s savoir-faire consists in defining the point at which an eau-de-vie is ready to reveal nature’s finest, purest and rarest qualities at a given moment. Every year, a new cognac will be added to the Vintage Edition: a single eau-de-vie, sourced from a single terroir, in a single year. Presented in a precious, numbered bottle, it will be released in exceptionally limited quantities – representing the very last barrels of these rare eaux-de-vie – for collectors.

To start the Vintage Edition, Christophe Valtaud selected a remarkable Borderies eau-de-vie from the Gallienne estate, the emblematic vineyard of the Martell family. It was produced in 1999, a challenging year in terms of climate, which resulted in lower volumes at harvest, but increased the quality and rarity of the grapes. In February 2000, immediately after distillation, the eau-de-vie was transferred to fine-grained oak barrels, ageing for 23 years to attain its aromatic plenitude. Martell Single Cru Borderies 1999 offers a complete organoleptic experience, representing the purest expression of the best of the Borderies terroir in that particular year. Characteristic notes of candied fruit and linden blossom are complemented by vibrant hints of citrus, while the palate demonstrates extraordinary smoothness, with a rich, fruity dimension.

“Ever since the days of Jean Martell, the ethos of Maison Martell has been to express the best of the Cognac terroir. With Martell Single Cru, a rare and prestigious collection which represents less than 1% of Martell cognacs, my aim was to reveal the richness and diversity of the very finest crus. My hope is that this aromatic exploration of the Cognac region will speak to adventurous cognac drinkers, opening their minds and palates to new tastes, and enabling them to build their own personal collection – one which reflects their preferences and the pleasure of discovery.”

– Christophe Valtaud, Martell Cellar Master

Martell Single Cru The Discovery Edition & The Aged Edition XO: available Autumn 2023 / Martell Single Cru The Aged Edition XXO & The Vintage Edition: available early 2024 at selected retail stores in China and throughout Asia (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia) and at the Martell boutique in Cognac.

Michelin three-star chef Alexandre Mazzia elevates the Martell Single Cru taste experience

To accompany the landmark launch of Martell Single Cru in Cognac, the Michelin three-star chef Alexandre Mazzia orchestrated two exceptional dinners: one in the Cellar Master’s Atelier, a space dedicated to creation and savoir-faire normally used only by Christophe Valtaud; the other in the delightful setting of the Château de Chanteloup, a symbol of French art de vivre and the generosity of Maison Martell. Alexandre Mazzia and Christophe Valtaud united their creativity to imagine a unique experience where cognac and gastronomy combine in perfect harmony, stimulating all the senses and intensifying the taste experience. Each dish subtly reveals the aromatic specificities of the cognacs in the Martell Single Cru collection.

The highly inventive cuisine of chef Alexandre Mazzia and the painstakingly orchestrated pairings transformed the unveiling of the Martell Single Cru collection into a truly unique experience.

“As I worked on the pairings for Martell Single Cru, I came to realise the full richness and complexity of the connections between cognac and my cuisine. The key markers of my gastronomic signature – spices, chilli, smoked and toasted flavours – are all reflected in the unbelievable aromatic palette of this exceptional collection. It’s the first chapter in a long and exciting story.”

– Alexandre Mazzia, AM*** restaurant (Marseille)

From March 2023, and for the next four years, Alexandre Mazzia is partnering with Maison Martell to define a gastronomic experience around cognac, both in Cognac and around the world.

About Martell

The oldest of the great cognac houses, founded by Jean Martell in 1715, Maison Martell is renowned throughout the world for the finesse and elegance of its cognacs, the result of a legacy of savoir-faire handed down through nine generations. Together with a passion for its craft and a profound attachment to the terroir, Maison Martell is defined by the audacity with which it has challenged convention to create new expressions of cognac, including the icon Martell Cordon Bleu in 1912. The free spirit of the House is symbolised by its historic emblem: the swift.

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Maison Martell presents the Single Cru Collection | Martell Pressroom (2024)
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