A Drink From The Porron

A Drink From The Porron

Jacoulot: A Spirit of Time and Place

Our spirits are based on concepts that prioritize time and place as fundamental. The concept of the value of place is a given since we define greatness or exceptionalism by its inherent location, whether it is a heralded place such as Burgundy or one yet to be recognized such as Galicia. In the production of spirits, another very important factor is time.

Our spirits portfolio grew out of the sense that specific places where we were sourcing wine also had exceptional spirits lurking around the corner. The discovery of Jacoulot was one such find.

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 at 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 occurs 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, the current owner of Jacoulot, argues 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. Philippe Vançon carefully guided the birth of these new products and has 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, this Fine and Marc hark back to another time. They may not be fashionable today, but they are one of the great treasures that should not be missed. A very limited release of 25 cases.

On one last note: Philippe Vançon, who became just the third owner, is a consummate entrepreneur in the same manner as the founder. Not content to rest on the laurels of the history of the company he purchased, he is exploring new ventures. This philosophy is exemplified in a very special single malt whiskey 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 whiskey was aged ten years in Sherry and Bourbon casks and then finished for three years in one Jacoulot Burgundy barrel. The marriage of the whiskey with the residue of the Pinot Noir distillate creates a very complex spirit that defies categorization. Only 25 cases produced.