With the first whispers of spring on the wind, a storied Cognac house synonymous with sunshine is entering the Australian market for the very first time. Cognac Monnet, a name closely associated with both the Cognac region and the birth of the European Union, will be ushering in summer with six different offerings; whether you’re looking to swirl in a snifter or get flex those creative cocktail juices.
Initially founded in 1838 as a collective to attack the international market and stand up to the quasi-monopoly of Hennessy, Remy Martin, Martell and Courvoisier, “SOCIETE DES PROPRIETAIRES VINICOLES DE COGNAC” became Monnet when Jean-Gabriel Monnet took the reins in 1897. Both the family’s name and their Cognac became renowned during the early-mid 20th Century, with Jean-Gabriel’s son Jean Monnet becoming the first ever Honorary Citizen of Europe in 1976 for his behind-the-scenes efforts in shaping the EU.
Production ran from the same purpose-built facility from 1838-2004, when it was sold back to the Cognac municipality and subsequently reopened as a luxury hotel and spa in 2018 appropriately titled Hotel Chais Monnet. A cognac made for any occasion and one stoically committed to the ‘art de vivre’ (‘the joy of living’ for those who didn’t pay attention in year seven French), Monnet is similarly renowned for Leonetti Capiello’s 1920’s ‘Sunshine in a Glass’ poster, which you may have come across on your travels in your favourite French bistro or café.
The liquid sets itself apart through its fruity and floral flavour profile, in part due to the sole use of the Ugni Blanc grape from Fin Bois and distillation sur lie, bringing out those esters that lead to stone fruit, honey and brioche complexities. Alongside the recognisable VS, VSOP and XO labels, Monnet has added three unique products that set it apart from other Cognac houses.
Monnet Sunshine sits in between the VS and VSOP statements, capturing the quintessence of the brand in a bottle and evoking summer strolls through vineyards and long lazy lunches that slip seamlessly into evenings. Quince jam, lilacs and daffodils compliment soft vanillas and gingerbread.
Monnet Salamander takes on name of symbol of the house and blends cognac with warm winter spices for a subtly different take on the category which will shine in your next old-fashioned variation. Monnet XXO is the epitome of Monnet’s Savoir-fare, with the brightness of younger varietals given added depth and complexity through nougat, rich leather and that rarest of tasting notes, rancio. Cognac Monnet is available for purchase at Dan Murphys retailers.