An Exquisite Release from House Martell – The Single Cru Collection


Mention House of Martell to me, and my mind will flash to the ruling House of Dorne, from the literary series of The Games of Thrones. In reality, there is an actual House of Martell, the Maison Martell, the great Cognac house that has over 300 years of history in the French Cognac region.

In April 2024, Maison Martell released the exquisite Martell Single Cru collection. The Single Cru collection is made up up six distinct bottles, with each revealing the distinctive tastes and unique personalities of the individual terroir. Martell has always aimed to express the true essence of the land, or terroir. However, this is the first time in their history that each cognac in the collection is crafted with eaux-de-vie sourced from each individual terroir. The new release represents just 1% of all Martell cognacs, so don’t associate the Single Cru collection with the regular Martell VSOP or XO that your grand-uncle is drinking.

Grape vines basking in the sunset in Cognac, France. Credit: Maison Martell.

Unrivalled and uncompromising Craftsmanship

The terroir is linked to the soil, climate and exposure of the grapes grown in the geographical location. Cognac produced from a specific region, with its terroir, will produce its own distinct aromatic profile and a specific ageing potential.

Fins Bois, with its reddish clay and limestone soils, is known for its light, airy eaux-de-vie, whereas the greyish, chalky soils of Petite Champagne produce fine, structured eaux-de-vie with vigour and length on the palate. The Borderies cru, meanwhile, is famous for producing delicate, elegant eaux-de-vie with pronounced aromas of flowers and candied fruit, while the chalk and limestone soils of Grande Champagne yield eaux-de-vie with aromatic richness and power. To bring an authentic expression of the different crus to life, Maison Martell distils only clear wines and ages its eaux-de-vie exclusively in oak barrels, minimising the impact of lees and wood. Moreover, eaux-de-vie from these four terroirs – the four finest in the Cognac region – are aged separately in the Martell cellars. It is this unrivalled and uncompromising craftsmanship which attains its purest expression with the Martell Single Cru collection.

Martell Single Cru: A world of exciting taste sensations

Martell Single Cru is an invitation to explore a world of thrilling new taste sensations, each one an authentic expression of the richness and diversity of the Cognac region. The collection is structured in three editions, right up to a selection of rare or extra-rare vintages, the collection will grow in the future, with each new release representing a fresh discovery of the House’s terroirs – an exploration of the land in the French countryside through the senses.

The Discovery Edition

This first edition is an ideal introduction to the collection, and a perfect starting point for an aromatic exploration of the Cognac region. Martell Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud has crafted three cognacs from eaux-de-vie sourced from a single cru in order to reveal the authentic taste and unique personality of each. Martell Single Cru 100% Fins Bois invigorates the senses with lush and juicy fruit, for a vibrant, fragrant sensation on the palate whilst Martell Single Cru 100% Petite Champagne is intense and spicy, bursting with warm spices and rich nuts. Finally, Martell Borderies has notes of sweet fruit and subtle florals, leaving a delicious impression of fullness.

The Maison Martell vineyard in Cognac, France. Credit: Maison Martell.

The Discovery Edition – Borderies. Photo Credit: Justin Teo.

The Aged Edition

This second edition continues the exploration with Borderies and Grande Champagne, the two most exclusive Cognac terroirs. For the Aged Edition, Christophe Valtaud has made a precise selection of eaux-de-vie which not only expresses the essence of each prestigious terroir but are also remarkable for their age. An eau-de-vie evolves throughout the ageing process, and these two cognacs have benefited from many years of ageing to develop new organoleptic properties, attaining an aromatic richness that is exceptional in the case of an XO, and reaches a form of plenitude for an XXO:

⦁ Martell Single Cru XO Grande Champagne reveals the full potential of this terroir. With young Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie, the impression is predominantly one of power and structure. With older eaux-de-vie, this cognac is enriched with notes of nuts and dried fruit, as well as overtones of wood, reaching a perfect balance between power and fruitiness.

⦁ Martell Single Cru XXO Borderies is blended from eaux-de-vie that have attained their aromatic plenitude. Expressing all the subtlety and complexity of the Borderies cru at an ideal stage of the ageing process for this terroir, Martell Single Cru XXO Borderies demonstrates incomparable richness and fullness, overflowing with luscious fruity notes.

Although the Aged Editions are best savoured on their own, sitting on the sofa with the favourite vinyl on the turntable, these sublime cognac may also be enjoyed paired with meals. Between the two Editions, the XO Grand Champagne impressed me with its fine elegance and restraint.

Martell Single Cru Collection – The Aged Edition with the XO Grand Champagne and the XXO Borderies. Credit: Maison Martell.

The Aged Edition – The XXO Borderies. Photo Credit: Justin Teo.

The Vintage Edition

With the Vintage Edition, the exploration of Maison Martell’s terroirs reaches its peak. This exceptional cognac is the meeting of a terroir and a year, which has specific climatic conditions and is a truly rare event, that happens just once every year. Here, the Cellar Master demonstrates his savoir-faire by identifying the point at which an eau-de-vie is ready to reveal nature’s finest, purest and rarest qualities. Every year, a new cognac will be added to the Vintage Edition: a single eau-de-vie, sourced from a single terroir, in a single year. Presented in a precious, numbered bottle, it will be released in exceptionally limited quantities – representing the very last barrels of these rare eaux-de-vie – for collectors.

The ultra-rare Vintage Edition – 1999 Borderies. Only 120 bottles made available in Singapore. Photo Credit: Justin Teo.

All six bottles of the Single Cru Collection. Photo Credit: Justin Teo.

Martell Single Cru Discovery Edition and Aged Edition are available now at select retail stores and outlets. Martell Single Cru Vintage Edition is available from May 2024 onwards and is available at select retail outlets and via Le Cercle.


About Author

Justin is a noobie writer who still can't believe anybody would want to publish anything he writes. Thanks to the Internet, he is now unstoppable in his quest to become famous. When Justin is not correcting his grammar for his writing, he can be found trying to bake, learning digital photography or drooling over sexy new tech toys.

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