Epicure - - RAISING THE BAR -

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.

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