Cognac Park Mizunara: A One-Of-A-Kind French Cognac With A Japanese Twist

CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie

Cognac does not have a good reputation in the eyes of the public in many Asian countries. When one thinks of cognac, the mind immediately associates the drink with rowdy crowds in disco clubs drinking endless bottles of cognac to party the night away. There is only a small group of people who appreciates the vintage and rare cognacs available in the market.

Fortunately, there is a particular distillery in France that is challenging the idea of how cognac should be made and drank. This distillery wanted to make a positive impact in the world with its various premium brands of cognacs.

Tessendier Distillery

In 1862, the son of a French noble woman named Gaston Tessendier bought up 30 hectares of land in prime cognac-making country and named it the Tessendier Family Estate. Within this estate, he built a distillery and endeavoured to master the art of distilling and ageing cognac. His determination to pass on his knowledge has resulted in a strong, family-run distillery today. The Tessendier family has been running the distillery for five generations and have perfectly mastered the art of blending. Henceforth, they have become known as the “Creators of Cognac”.

Fast forward to today, where brothers Lilian and Jérôme Tessendier are the new master blenders for Distillerie Tessendier and are working together to introduce high quality cognacs to the world. In 1993, Jérôme Tessendier agreed to a collaboration with Dominic Park (a man who discovered the land of cognac and wanted to create an exclusive brand with his name).

Dominic wanted to make “crafted cognacs” – a range of cognac using fine and complex ingredients tailor-made to the highest quality. The collaboration resulted in the first range of Cognac Park. This range became the pioneers of “made to measure” cognacs and later on became known as crafted cognacs.

The cognac distilling process involves Eaux-de-vie that is made from a white grape from the Ugni Blanc variety that grows in four different locations – Petite Champagne, Grande Champagne, Fins Bois and Borderies. The various Eaux-de-vie eventually make their way into the various type of cognacs depending on their regions.

Muzunara

Once the chosen Eaux-de-vie is doubled distilled in traditional copper pot stills, the precious elixir will be left to age in French Oak casks in the cellars of Distillerie Tessendier on the banks of the River Charente. In a humid and peaceful environment, the distilled spirit will rest in quiet contemplation until it matures into an amber-gold liquid with a wide array of scents and flavours.

The latest addition to the Cognac Park family is the Cognac Park Mizunara that is entirely made up of grapes that come exclusively from one vineyard in the Borderies region.

This particular vineyard in the Borderies region was chosen as it holds one of the best terroirs in the cognac-making country. Its outstanding variety of grapes also made a sweet and well-rounded Eaux-de-vie with a floral hint of violets. The distilled spirit shows strong characters that promises to age well in oak barrels.

The distilled spirit is left to age in French oak barrels made with wood from the Limousin Forest before getting a finish in the highly prized Mizunara oak barrels. Mizunara is a rare varietal of oak that is found only in Japan. The porous wood is used to make premium Mizunara casks that is used to age rare Japanese whiskies.

The Mizunara barrels enhances the soft, round taste and floral notes of the Borderies cognac, bringing more depth and complexity though the addition of pleasant spice to the flavours of the liquid.

Cognac Park Mizunara Trio

The Cognac Park Mizunara comes in three different variations:

Cognac Park Mizunara Original
The distillate of the original Cognac Park Mizunara first spends four years ageing in 400 litres French oak barrels. It is first aged in new barrels for ten months; then it gets transferred to used French Limousin casks to continue the ageing process. At the end of the ageing period, the cognac is finished in new 500 litres Mizunara casks for six months before being bottled at 43.5% abv.

Cognac Park Mizunara 10 Years Old
The Cognac Park Mizunara 10 Years Old goes through a similar process as its original counterpart, the only difference being that the distillate spends ten years ageing in 400 litres French oak barrels before it is finished in new 500 litres Mizunara casks for nine months and bottled at 44% abv.

Cognac Park Mizunara Single Cask
Single cask cognacs are not as easy to find as single cask whiskies, especially one that gets a finish in Mizunara oak casks! Even the Cognac Park Mizunara Single Cask is not readily available all the time. At the moment, the only batch that you can buy is the Cognac Park Mizunara 2016 Single Cask. It is a 10 Years Old Single Cask cognac finished in Mizunara Cask.

If you have followed us through the article, you may be wondering why you should get a bottle of Cognac Park for yourself since it is just another cognac.

The fact remains that it is no ordinary bottle of cognac. A lot of R&D has gone into the creation of every expression of Cognac Park to ensure the perfect flavour for each of them. The use of Mizunara oak casks in the ageing process also enhances the already high quality and exclusiveness of the Cognac Park Mizunara. As the first-ever cognac to use Mizunara oak casks, the Cognac Park Mizunara range surely commands space on your shelf in the office and at home.

With the New Year just around the corner, why not herald the arrival of 2020 with something special like the Cognac Park Mizunara? Put aside that bottle of champagne, and partake in a bottle of Cognac Park Mizunara with your friends and family during the count down to the new year!

Spirits Castle is the official sole distributor for Cognac Park Mizunara in Singapore and South East Asia.

If you are looking to buy a bottle, visit their webstore at https://spiritscastle.myshopify.com/collections/cognac-park-mizunara or their exclusive retailer – FuguVintage @The Adelphi, #04-13.

The Original Cognac Park Mizunara can be found at Symphony Lounge @ Esplanade Mall, #03-02. The 10 year old variant can be found at Live Twice @ 20 Bukit Pasoh Road.

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