Cognac 1814 Restaurant Henry
Napoléon, Place Gaillon, Fine Champagne
Provenance: Christies Paris, 11/25/2003
Napoléon, Fine Champagne, Restaurant Henry, Place Gaillon, 70 cl. 1814: De Nederlandsche Bank is established. The First Treaty of Paris is signed returning France's borders to their 1792 extent. Napoleon is exiled to Elba on the same day. The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 is signed in London, returning most possessions of the Dutch Empire acquired by the United Kingdom since 1803 to the Netherlands, although Britain retains the Cape of Good Hope and the South American settlements of Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice (later consolidated as British Guiana). In addition, the British cede the island of Banca off the island of Sumatra in exchange for the settlement of Cochin in India.
Renowned throughout the world, the production of Cognac has been regulated by its very own AOC since 1909. Only liqueurs from eaux-de-vie made from crus from the controlled appellation area of Cognac can be labelled as such. This liqueur must be distilled and aged on-site in compliance with authorised techniques: double distillation in a copper Charentais still, ageing in oak barrels for a set minimum ageing period.
A good Cognac is subjected to a complex manufacturing process. It is never made from the eau-de-vie of a single cru, but from a `marriage' of eaux-de-vie that vary in age and cru - some as old as a hundred. To establish the age of a Cognac, only the number of years spent in oak casks or barrels are taken into account. As soon as an eau-de-vie is decanted into a glass recipient, it ceases to age. The longer it is left to age, the more a Cognac gains in complexity, fragrance, aromas and taste (spiced, pepper and cinnamon flavours).
Please note that only Cognacs made exclusively from Petite and Grande Champagne (50% minimum) can use the "Fine Champagne" appellation.