Cellar master Christophe Valtaud from House of Martell is crafting a new course for millennial drinkers with Martell VSOP Aged in Red Barrels. I’m a scientist. I joined Martell in 2011, became the vineyard manager in 2015 and succeeded outgoing cellar master Benoît Fil in 2016.
One of my first tasks was to create a new sophisticated blend to replace the VSOP Medallion. It took one year to create the taste and one year to change the bottle.
Younger consumers – like me – prefer a smoother taste with less woody notes and more fruit. That’s why we aged the eauxde-vie in older red barrels that are used for three to eight years first, which are less bitter in tannins and more intense in vanilla.
While new technology makes it easier to do our job, our nose is still the most important instrument. You have to protect the nose and palate to be able to taste, and the rest is training and experience.
The modern VSOP suits food pairing and mixology. Enjoy it any way you like, in cocktails like a spritz or matched to Asian food.