XO marks the spot


Photograph: Philippe Roy

Photograph: Philippe Roy

We met up with Mélanie Tesseron to discover what makes Tesseron Cognac a veritable treasure.

Ours is a small company. It was founded by my great-grandfather, Abel Tesseron, who believed that Cognac should be light coloured, aromatic and smooth. My grandfather, Guy Tesseron, then established us as the major supplier of all Cognac houses.

We concentrate purely on XO (lit. ‘extra old’) Cognac. When in the early 2000s the market took a dip, my uncle and my father decided to bring out our own range under the family name. Even though we’d been making Cognac for over 100 years, we were only really a wholesaler up until that point.

It all started with Lot No 53. My uncle was 53 when we launched Tesseron Cognac. He saw Chanel No 5, and he thought we could maybe do that with the Cognac lots. Lot No 53 was a two generation Cognac. Olivier Poussier (who was at the time the number one sommelier in the world) knew we had one of the oldest stocks in Grande Champagne, and suggested we create a whole range.

We have properties in Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne. We predominantly produce a white grape, Ugni Blanc, and a little bit of Colombard and Folle Blanche which give different tones. We do a double distillation, always taking the heart – the best part of the Cognac. We then age for 36 months in oak barrels before transferring it into older barrels so they still get all the aromas exchanging with the air, and also these very light colours.

What is great about our Cognac house is that we are still a family owned business. We make the grapes, do the alcoholic double distillation and the aging in barrel all ourselves, as well as the packaging.

We’re the only Cognac house to be rated by Robert Parker. We received the maximum 100 points for Lot No 29, and 98 points for Lot No 53, which reflect just how delicate our Cognacs are. Cognacs today tend to be associated with a certain harshness, which is why we concentrate on aromas, delicacy and a smooth finish.

The Trésor is the elite of our Signature collection. Besides the intricate bottle, the Cognac itself comprises Grande Champagne, Ugni Blanc and Colombard, aged together for two and a half generations, making it around 60 years old.

Explore our comprehensive range of Tesseron Cognacs on bbr.com.