For the aging of Napoleon, we only use 25% new barrel. Certainly, the new barrel brings two essential things: the colour and the woody tannins. But the very delicate aromas of vine flowers (comparable to acacia or elderflower) cannot stand to be masked by an excess of tannin, thus the use of less new oak.
Further, we find a little acidity and freshness, as if we were crunching a grape during the grape harvest.
Napoleon is the olfactory memory of white wine from Ugni-blanc. This natural acidity of the varietal – which would not necessarily be a quality for a table wine – becomes an essential asset for Grande Champagne brandies. The aromatic freshness of the whole range is supported by this acidity. Sweet, honeyed, plummy, pruney fruit on the palate. Same elegance, but more richness and depth, and savoury woody character. Classic Grande Champagne with perfect balance between fruit and age.
Paul Giraud Cognac is an old family farm located in Bouteville, a small village in the heart of Grande Champagne, since at least 1635. A family stock of old Eaux-de-vie can offer fans a complete range.
They produce 100% Grande Champagne single vintage cognac and 100% single year, except for Heritage and Noblesse that are blends. The current area of the vineyard is 42 hectares, all planted in Ugni-blanc and located in the town of Bouteville, in the heart of the Grande Champagne, on chalky grounds of the Campanian and Santonien limestones.
For a very long time, they have been practising a reasoned and environmentally friendly culture. Thus, for more than 30 years, manures have been made with organic fertilisers associated with soil ploughing. In addition, a large part of the vineyard is still harvested by hand, a practice that is becoming increasingly rare in the Charentes (only four or five estates still practice it).