Cognac 1848 Mortier J.J.
Grande Champagne, Gérant de Château Lafite-Rothschild, Bordeaux
Provenance: Sotheby's, 11/17/1999
J.J. Mortier, Grande Champagne, Gérant de Château Lafite-Rothschild, Bordeaux, 70 cl. An 1848 vintage Cognac bottled by Bordeaux négociants J.J. Mortier. Given that the company was only founded in 1889, the contents of this bottle may well be over 40 years old. Louis Mortier, the founder, was manager at the prestigious Château Lafite Rothschild between 1900 and 1920. On the market place of Bordeaux, the wine trader J.J. MORTIER is distinguished by its unique character. The regular visits to châteaux and tastings by a team on the lookout for talented winemakers also enable the company to offer a wide range of “Petits châteaux”, highly representative of the best terroirs. 1848: The first-ever French presidential election of 1848 elected the first and only president of the Second Republic. The election was held on 10 December 1848 and led to the surprise victory of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte with 74% of the votes. The Second Republic of France is set up, ending the state of temporary government. In February Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto (Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) in London. Construction of the Washington Monument begins. This is an obelisk on the National Mall (a national park in downtown Washington, D.C.), built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president. Construction of the monument began in 1848, was halted from 1854 to 1877, and was finally completed in 1884.
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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.