FRESH FACE

Martell’s new brand am­bas­sador JeanBap­tiste Gourvil shares his vi­sion for the cognac house with justin ng

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Indulgence -

Tall, fiT and pep­pered with a dirty blond stub­ble – not ex­actly one has in mind of some­one who once spent two years work­ing in the beer in­dus­try in Czech Repub­lic, the high­est per-capita beer-con­sum­ing coun­try in the world by far. But he is French and larks about throw­ing me out of the win­dows when I sug­gested that he could be more Bri­tish than French be­cause he grew up in Brit­tany. Jean-Bap­tiste Gourvil is Martell’s new brand am­bas­sador to Malaysia.

Gourvil dis­cov­ered his in­sa­tiable thirst for cognac after many a hol­i­day at his grand­par­ents’ house in a charm­ing lit­tle vil­lage near Cognac. He was of­fered an easy choice to be posted to Malaysia – in spite of it be­ing a coun­try he “didn’t know too much about” prior to this – ahead of New Zealand, South Korea, China and Tai­wan. “We think you are a great fit for Malaysia be­cause you are con­fi­dent, easy go­ing and friendly,” he says of the man­age­ment’s de­ci­sion to ship him to Kuala Lumpur. None­the­less, Malaysians of cer­tain sects need no sec­ond in­vi­ta­tion for a glass of Martell, an ob­ser­va­tion Gourvil has come to re­alise in his short time here. “Tell me about it,” he laughs.

wHicH martell cognac is your favourite?

I have to say it is Martell Cor­don Bleu. Why Cor­don Bleu? Be­cause the drink is amaz­ing, well bal­anced, boasts a high de­gree of com­plex­ity. You could be sit­ting around with a glass of Cor­don Bleu and still be dis­cussing the flavours of Cor­don Bleu for the next 10-15 min­utes.

A lot of peo­ple for­get that Cor­don Bleu is an XO. It is so smooth and rounded that they think it must be a VSOP. It is a lot older than a VSOP. The eaux-de­vie that make up Cor­don Bleu range from 10 to 25 years old. It is a blend of more than 100 eauxde-vie. So it is very com­plex. In my opin­ion, it is an am­bas­sador of French eaux-de-vie.

How will you be do­ing it ( tHe brand am­bas­sador role) your way? Malaysians love Martell, which is re­ally great. But they don’t al­ways know what they are drink­ing. So this is my role to tell them: Great, you like t he prod­uct, but there is a his­tory, iden­tity and unique style i n this prod­uct. This (to ed­u­cate) is go­ing to be part of my main roles.

Apart from that, i n this twoyear pe­riod in Malaysia, I want to de­velop a Martell cognac cock­tail scene. In the be­gin­ning of the 19th cen­tury, Martell was used a lot by bar­tenders. Now the trend is be­ing re­vived i n France as bar­tenders use more and more Martell cognac in their cock­tails. I would like to bring it here.

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