It is fairly well accepted that terroir is real and that wines really do exhibit a sense of place. But what about spirits?
Pineau des Charentes, Spanish Brandy, Cognac. These all are capable of great things in the right hands and if left alone long enough.
Nicolas Palazzi is known in wine circles for importing some of the best Cognac available in this country. He has access to artisanal Cognac distillers and their precious ‘eaux-de –vie’ via his mentor, a 9th generation Cognac maker. Pierre, the Cognac maker from Segonzac and Jean (Nicolas’ grandfather), the winemaker from Bordeaux, shared a room during their military service and became fast friends. Nicolas learned the art and science under the tutelage of Pierre, which resulted, luckily for us, in Nicolas bringing Cognac to the US market that is on a different level from most. Much of what he brings over is from private family stocks previously unreleased.
Nicolas has been on a quest recently to show people how wonderful old Pineau des Charentes can be. Pineau des Charentes is a combination of Cognac and unfermented grape must. The old versions, and Nicolas’ Paul Marie & Fils line of Pineaux in particular, can be so characterful and full of nuance and complexity. These are the real old-school deal.
Nicolas will also talk about Spanish Brandy, and how it can reflect its terroir. We’ll taste a limited-edition single-cask brandy that he produced in collaboration with Equipo Navazos. There were only 720 bottles made, and it was finished for 4.5 years (!) in Oloroso sherry casks.
The Pineaux, cognacs, and brandy will be paired with specially chosen cheeses, meats, and small plates.