Pierre Ferrand Single Vintage Cognac 1914

Twenty years ago, businessmen Jean-Dominique Andreu and Alexandre Gabriel met with artisan Cognac distiller Pierre Ferrand to offer him advice on introducing his small namesake brand to the American market. Since that time, the company’s beautifully expressive eaux-de-vie have not ceased to impress us, and the recently released Pierre Ferrand Single Vintage Cognac 1914 (www.pierreferrandcognac.com, $1,500) admirably upholds the house’s winning streak. Distilled at the beginning of World War I—when the local men went off to fight, leaving the women behind to mind the stills—this lush, mellow, and elegant Cognac reveals lovely chocolate, cherry, and spice flavors, as well as some curiously intriguing dusty tones atop softly muted tannins.