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L’Essence de Courvoisier cognac launched

Maxxium UK has launched L’Essence de Courvoisier. Packaged in a Baccarat decanter and retailing at £1,800 a bottle, it is aimed at connoisseurs and collectors of rare and luxury cognacs.

L’Essence de Courvoisier, developed by master blender Jean Marc Olivier, is an blend of over 100 rare eaux-de-vie from the Grande Champagne and Borderies cognac crus. Special reserves from the early 20th century, when Courvoisier introduced its highly acclaimed Napoleon cognac, offer depth, maturity and harmony to the blend, and are combined with eaux-de-vie from the 1970s and 80s. These include the introduction of a sophisticated method of distillation to improve the finesse and elegance of young spirit and the use of oak from the Jupilles forest in its barrel making, introduced by Courvoisier in 1986 and now used by the most prestigious Bordeaux wines.

The bottle has been hand-sculpted by over 30 craftsmen from Baccarat, the centuries-old crystal house. The decanter is suspended in a frame complete with a finely crafted crystal stopper, inspired by the signet rings given by Napoleon Bonaparte to commanders in his army in recognition of noble acts.

The global launch of L’Essence de Courvoisier takes place at Harrods in London's Knightsbridge, where a bottle of L’Essence de Courvoisier is to be the focal point of a striking display in the shop window throughout September. Set in a futuristic Napoleon-style drawing room, the decanter is featured in a cabinet designed by Courvoisier the Future 500 member Lee Broom. Visitors to the store will also see prominent advertising at the Egyptian escalator, in the newly refurbished menswear department and in the store magazine. It will be available to purchase in the wine shop.

At 42% ABV, L’Essence de Courvoisier is a rich and full-bodied cognac with hints of liquorice, dried plum and apricot, and offers a long finish. In the Courvoisier portfolio it sits between Initiale Extra, which retails at £250, and JS Succession at £3,500.

Maxxium UK’s marketing manager for Courvoisier, Janice McIntosh says: “L’Essence de Courvoisier is an important addition to our range which will attract global attention from connoisseurs who will enjoy the depth of flavour achieved by combining precious and rare cognacs from the last two centuries.

“The launch highlights Courvoisier’s position in the luxury spirits arena and is part of our ongoing commitment to driving value into the category and maintaining our position as the UK’s number one cognac.”

Courvoisier master blender Jean Marc Olivier says: “L’Essence de Courvoisier is an elegant and complex cognac which encapsulates the spirit of Courvoisier itself. It represents centuries of craftsmanship, our passion for cognac and our heritage, combined with our desire to be at the forefront of innovation, whether it be in distillation, ageing of wood or blending.”

1 September 2009 - Felicity Murray