Everything has value to the farmer,
and when a great region such as Burgundy produces exceptional wine, this is especially true. Any farmer knows this concept and utilizes every last ingredient that is produced at their property. In Burgundy, as in other viticultural regions in the world, they make a product from the leftover pomace called marc. For the most part, this was what the farmers drank in the mornings to shrug off the cold and what they finished with after the end of an arduous day.
Vincent Jacoulot was a politician and entrepreneur who thought that there was value in making a product of exceptional quality and back in 1891 created the L’Authentique Marc de Bourgogne for his eponymous brand. He knew that grapes with this provenance needed to be distilled and raised in a more cared-for manner.
He set up shop in Romanèche-Thorins, very close to the source of his pomace. In addition, he built a facility that would allow for the long-term storage and aging of his brandies. He knew the importance of the passing of time to allow for the mellowing and complexification to occur. In fact, this process is so important that distilleries came up with the term “the angel’s share” to justify the natural loss that happens over time to the product. The aging of any spirit is subject to many conditions, and one of them is the climate where the vessels are stored. In a warm climate, the aging proceeds more rapidly. In a cold climate, such as Burgundy, the process is slow. Very slow.
Philippe Vançon and Anne Pascal, the current owners of Jacoulot, argue that this slow aging process allows for a very gradual transformation that adds to the subtleties of this spirit distilled from one of the great viticultural regions of the world. We are very proud to have in our portfolio exceptional old brandies that have mellowed for many years before seeing the light of day.
The secret of Jacoulot is access to exceptional pomace and wine from Côte de Beaune and the mobile alembic still they use. The flexibility of the mobile still allows them to access the raw material in its initial, unoxidized state so that only the essence of the fruit is captured. As a further guarantee, Vincent Jacoulot emphasized on the label of L’Authentique that his product was “extra égrappé,” denoting that all the pomace was destemmed, which is essential for quality.
Philippe and Anne carefully guided the birth of new concepts and have labeled them, justifiably, Les Grands Âges. Aged for an average of 25 years, with some of the brandies likely dating back to the inception in 1891, their fines and marcs are modern-day classics. These complex brandies are great treasures that should not be missed.
Not content to rest on the laurels of the history of the company they purchased, they are exploring new ventures. This philosophy is exemplified in an extraordinary single malt whisky from Scotland that is finished in an old barrel that once contained Les Grands Âges. Made from a pristine water source in the highland region, this whisky was aged ten years in sherry and bourbon casks and then finished for three years in one Jacoulot Burgundy barrel. The marriage of whisky with the residue of the pinot noir distillate creates a very complex spirit that defies categorization. Recently, they have created an exciting new expression, Le Petit Marc, which was created to give the mixologist a unique brandy option from pinot noir grapes. Le Petit Marc is the same base product as the L’Authentique Marc de Bourgogne, with a little less aging, intended to emphasize fruit and backbone, lending cocktails a unique Burgundian signature.