Founded on the banks of the Charente in 1715 by Jean Martell, Maison Martell is the oldest of the four big cognac houses in France. The brand has staked its reputation on using a high percentage of eaux-de-vie from the Borderies region in its blends, adding aromatics to the richness. From the entry-level VS to the prestige cuvéeL’Or de Jean Martell, the brand is held in great esteem globally for the finesse and elegance of its legendary cognacs.
The foundations of Martell’s empire were rooted in his rigid and exacting standards when it came to quality - not only of the final product but also of the products that he used. Maison Martell’s exclusivity is rooted also in the three key concepts of elegance, complexity and balance. Maison Martell is defined by the audacity with which it has pioneered new expressions of cognac – from the iconic Martell Cordon Bleu in 1912 to the trailblazing Martell Blue Swift. For three centuries, Martell has produced, exported and marketed cognacs whose quality is recognized worldwide.
Every Martell cognac has its own unique narrative to reveal - from the timeless classics to limited editions. In 1831, Martell created his first “VSOP” (Very Superior Old Pale) cognac. Cordon Bleu, created by Edouard Martell in 1912, is the House’s most famous product.
For very special occasions opt for the legendary Cordon Bleu with spicy fruit and an elegant richness. Martell Cordon Bleu is considered the House’s most emblematic cognac.
Celebrating a 300-year old legacy with Martell Premier Voyage
Its 300th anniversary was a watershed in the journey of iconic Cognac house Martell. The triumphant occasion in 2015 was marked by the release of its super limited edition blend, Premier Voyage, which in fact mirrors the journey and history of Jean Martell as envisioned by its creator Martell Cellar Master Benoît Fil.
Jean Martell’s original mix in 1715 comprised 18 rare eaux-de-vie from his cellars. Martell Cellar Master Benoît Fil sought to recreate that spirit by using eight different vintages of Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois and Bons Boiseaux-de-vie from the Martell archives and aged the mix in casks sourced from a 300-year old oak tree. Martell Premier Voyage takes the best things from the past of Cognac and Jean Martell’s vision, and makes them something that we can enjoy today. This new blend truly captures three centuries of Martell turning cognac into art, according to him.
On the nose are nuances of vanilla, pear drops, mixed peels, apricot turnover and figs. The palate is abrim with tangerine and more vanilla and fig especially, with a finish of custard boiled sweets and wood spice.
Following through on the exclusivity of the occasion and the cognac, the bottle itself is a work of art as Martell commissioned Bernar Venet, one of France’s lead artists, to create something really unique.
The Martell Dame-Jeanne Collection
For the first time in 300 years of history, Maison Martell offers an exceptional collection of eaux-de-vie of absolute rarity, each encased in a Dame-Jeanne of unqualified beauty. This exclusive collection was unveiled in December 2020 to a clutch of Martell Maison’s loyal clients.
With unprecedented audacity Martell Cellar Master, Christophe Valtaudmade a selection of pure eaux-de-vie from outstanding vintages to constitute a unique collection presented in Dame-Jeannes. The 11-litre glass demijohns artisanal masterpieces were exclusively crafted at Maison Martell’s craftwork ateliers. Until now, these precious eaux-de-vie have been reserved for Maison Martell’s most prestigious blends. Amongst the collection, is a 1951 eau-de-vie from Grande Champagne, so rare that only a single Dame-Jeanne is on offer.
Martell Centenary Collection
Maison Martell’s Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud has selected five of the rarest and most precious eaux-de-vie that have surpassed the milestone of 100 years for a new collection called the Centenary. It is one of the finest eaux-de-vie in the Martell cellars, a pure product of the prestigious Grande Champagne terroir. Martell Centenary 1921 is presented in a Baccarat crystal carafe enhanced by an inlaid wood setting.
THE TERROIRS IN THE AOC
The only place in the world where cognac is exclusively produced is in the vineyard regions of Charente and Charente-Maritime in Southwest France, known for its superior terroir (the soil, climate, and topography that contribute to grape-growing conditions). It is made up of six vineyard areas (crus). Each cru has a specific character, and gives different aromas to the fermented juice of white grapes set aside to mature and eau-de-vie. When Jean Martell founded Maison Martell, he already had his eye on the Borderies, the smallest and rarest of cognac crus.
While the Ugni Blanc grape variety is its predominant ingredient, the most coveted are the grapes from “Grande Champagne” terroir. Producers are also required to strictly adhere to distillation processes, time and aging protocols if it is to be called a Cognac.