Ferrand 10 Generations, a Grande Champagne Cognac released by Maison Ferrand in November 2019, pays reverence to the pioneering Ferrand family. Its title recognizes the 10 generations of Ferrands that have been living in Segonzac, a part of France’s Cognac area, since the 15th century. The history of the family is inseparable from the region’s history producing Cognac.
It was Elie Ferrand the 7th (all the males of the line were named “Elie”) that built the family’s still-standing manor house, Chez Barraud, and Elie Ferrand the 8th that won a Gold Medal at the 1880 International Exhibition in Paris for his Cognac. The 10th and final generation of the family is represented by Elie the 8th’s great-granddaughter, Henriette Ranson, who is still living at Chez Barraud in her mid-90s. It’s hard not to view Ferrand 10 Generations with a bit of sadness, as this Cognac serves as an honorific coda to the famous family.
10 Generations is made from a single grape, Ugni Blanc. It is distilled in pot stills and then aged in French oak casks, 20% of which are ex-Sauternes barrels. Its nose features toffee, almonds, honey, caramel, and nougat at first sniff, while a closer inspection draws up a soil-like element of raisin and prune.
It begins round and sweet on the palate with toffee, honey, and nougat. While this initially rich and honeyed ride is accented with a bit of pepper, it hits a wall of layered spice at the center. The spicy turn arrives with strong notes of cinnamon and oak, leading to a hot, dry finish that gradually eases into vanilla and baking spices before signing off with a subtle but rich note of fudge.
The rich, dessert-like notes that begin the experience and the robust but complex spice that finishes it makes 10 Generation a wonderful wintertime sipper. Just make a toast to those bygone Ferrands before you take your last sip.
— 46% ABV