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Cognac Ragnaud Sabourin VSOP Selection Annie is this venerable Cognac House’s entry point Cognac. Don’t let that put you off. This is a superb VSOP Cognac as you might expect for a brandy that Annie Sabourin puts her name to.
The Ragnaud-Sabourin family owns one of the most prestigious private estates in Grande Champagne and certainly have a grand history. The estate was established in 1850 by Gaston Briand, one of the first in the region to push for an establishment of recognised crus. In 1941 a split took place in the Ragnaud family, and one brother, Raymond Ragnaud, set off on his own. The other brother, Marcel Ragnaud, went on to develop Cognac Ragnaud-Sabourin and establish the house as one of the finest in Cognac.
Today the 50 hectare Domaine La Voûte is run by three descendants, from grandmother to granddaughter: Denise, Annie and Patricia Ragnaud-Sabourin. Together they oversee the vines, which stretch across the chalky slopes of Ambleville in the heart of Cognac’s premier cru region, Grande Champagne. They are also wholly responsible for all aspects of production and ageing, always determined to produce limited quantities of the highest quality.
The soils of Grande Champagne, considered by many to be the finest Cognac Cru are characterised by a clayey, chalky thin soil on top of soft chalk from the Cretaceous. From the surface down, the limestone content is very high. This combined with the local climate and a particular variety of Folle Blanche combine to produce fine, light and floral Cognac. The vineyards are planted with 90% Ugni Blanc and 10% of the much rarer Folle Blanche.
The Cognacs at Ragnaud Sabourin are distilled at the estate modern distillery following the specific, traditional, two- stage method in a traditional Charentais pot still. After distillation the eaux-de-vie are quietly matured in French oak barrels in the family’s cellars. The family hold 15 to 17 times the volume yearly sales which gives them greater control over the blends that are produced by the master blender.
Cognac Ragnaud Sabourin VSOP Selection Annie (Very Superior Old Pale) is a blend in which youngest brandy is aged at least four years in cask.