Martell has presented a new collection of rare cognacs to the international press and its key Asian clients

July, 2023

An exceptional two-day launch event for Martell Single Cru

At the end of June, Maison Martell invited its most important Chinese clients and the international press to Cognac for the launch of Martell Single Cru. The two-day celebration – perfectly orchestrated into a succession of exceptional experiences and unforgettable moments – culminated in the revelation of this exclusive collection of six rare cognacs, which will be released in very limited quantities from autumn 2023. Maison Martell took advantage of this landmark event in its history to recall the close ties it has nurtured with China since the mid-19th century.

For the first time since it was founded in 1715, the House is offering, with Martell Single Cru, an individual exploration of its finest terroirs expressing to the full the distinctive aromas and unique personality of each. The discovery naturally began right in the heart of the terroir with a tasting workshop in the vineyard led by Martell Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud. Later, at the Château de Chanteloup, guests were treated to an exceptional gastronomic experience, created by Michelin three-star Chef Alexandre Mazzia in collaboration with Chef Taklau Yuen from The Peninsula Paris, which united two cultures – French and Chinese – and two domains – cuisine and cognac – to reveal the extraordinary richness and refinement of Martell Single Cru.

A never-before aromatic exploration of the Cognac region

From its founder Jean Martell, Maison Martell inherited a daring and visionary spirit, as well as an in-depth knowledge of the Cognac terroir. For more than 300 years, the House has upheld this legacy by perpetuating an uncompromising savoir faire which preserves the authenticity of each individual cru throughout the cognac-making process. It distils only clear wines, from which the lees have been removed, and ages its eaux-de-vie exclusively in barrels of fineg rained oak in order to retain the purest expression of each cru. This expertise inspired Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud to create the Martell Single Cru collection, through which – for the first time in its history – the House explores each of its finest terroirs individually, revealing their aromatic specificities. So precise and rigorous is the approach that, to compose these six rare cognacs, Christophe Valtaud selects fewer than 400 eaux-de-vie from the total of 11,000 in the Martell reserves. Representing less than 1% of Martell cognacs, this new collection will be available in very limited quantities from autumn 2023.

“Maison Martell has always been defined by daring and innovation – a spirit epitomised by Martell Single Cru. This one-of-a-kind collection revisits the codes of cognac to allow lovers of exceptional cognacs to experience unique new taste sensations,”

– César Giron, CEO of Maison Martell

To share this significant moment in its history, Maison Martell invited its most important clients, key media and opinion leaders, all hailing from China and Southeast Asia, to join it in Cognac on 25 and 26 June. The House has a long and successful relationship with Asian markets, and indeed historic ties with China, which received its first shipments of Martell cognac as early as 1858. To this day, Maison Martell leads the cognac market in Asia.

Like 300 years ago, discovery begins in the vineyard

Just as Jean Martell travelled the length and breadth of the Cognac region in the 18th century, the exploration of the terroir organised by Maison Martell for its guests began in the vineyard – and more specifically on the emblematic Gallienne estate, in the heart of the Borderies cru, the signature of Martell cognacs. In the estate’s historic distillery, Christophe Valtaud revealed the Discovery Edition, the first of the three editions comprising the Martell Single Cru collection, during an exceptional masterclass. The Discovery Edition is the perfect starting point for understanding the impact of a cru on the eaux-de-vie produced there. Each cognac in the edition is crafted with eaux-de-vie sourced from a single cru: Fins Bois, Borderies or Petite Champagne. Each of these terroirs is characterised by specific tastes and aromas that are a result of its geographical location, the composition of its soils, its climate and exposure. After the tasting session, Christophe Valtaud led the guests into the vineyard, where each received a certificate making them the sponsor of an individual vine, symbolically linking them to the Martell terroir. In around 10 years’ time, the grapes harvested from these vines will be used to blend an extra-old cognac.

Two gastronomic experiences to elevate the tasting of Martell Single Cru

The guests’ discovery of the Martell Single Cru collection continued with two gala dinners, hosted in locations of great symbolic significance: the first in the Cellar Master’s Atelier, a space dedicated to creation and savoir-faire normally used only by Christophe Valtaud; the second in the delightful setting of the Château de Chanteloup, a symbol of French art de vivre that was formerly the home of the Martell family. These two unique experiences were orchestrated by the Michelin three-star chef Alexandre Mazzia – of AM*** restaurant in Marseille, France – who is partnering with Maison Martell to define its gastronomic identity, both in Cognac and worldwide, for the next four years.

Christophe Valtaud and Alexandre Mazzia worked closely together for several months in order to create precise and subtle harmonies that would further enhance the tasting of the Martell Single Cru collection. The result was a sensorial odyssey: every sequence composed by chef Mazzia comprised several satellites, each of which revealed a different facet of the cognac with which it was paired. During the gala dinners, this extraordinarily rich array of flavours and aromas introduced the two remarkable cognacs in the Single Cru Aged Edition, followed by the exceptionally rare eau-de-vie in the Single Cru Vintage Edition. The historic cellar housing the Cellar Master’s Atelier hosted a voyage in five sequences. Transformed with a sense of theatre, the space offered the fascinating spectacle of the Chef and his kitchen staff preparing the meal in front of the guests, with each dish brought to the tables in an immaculately choreographed service ritual.

At the Château de Chanteloup, Christophe Valtaud and Alexandre Mazzia were joined by chef Taklau Yuen of Lili Restaurant from The Peninsula hotel in Paris. All three united their creativity in a fabulous gastronomic experience that represented the culmination of the journey offered by Maison Martell to its guests – an inspiring dialogue between two cultures, an encounter of two cuisines with French and Chinese influences. The gala dinner was staged in the gardens of the Chanteloup estate, with the château in the background, in an elegant botanical and mineral décor evoking the terroir. The chefs prepared three sequences of extraordinary precision and technical mastery revealing the full range of aromatic nuances of Martell Single Cru cognacs.

“I was very honored to participate to the co-creation of this fantastic dinner with Chef Alexandre Mazzia. Playing with the infinite array of flavours the Asian cuisine can offer to reveal the full potential of Single Cru Collection was a memorable experience”

– Taklau Yuen

“It was a great pleasure for me to orchestrate, together with Christophe Valtaud and my fellow chef Taklau Yuen, this fantastic gastronomic adventure for Maison Martell. Natural connections emerged between our specialities, our inspirations and our creative energies to the benefit of cognac. Only a truly unique experience such as this could do justice to the depth and richness of the Martell Single Cru collection”

– Alexandre Mazzia

Present at this exceptional event was Alexandre Ricard, Chairman of the Pernod Ricard group to which Maison Martell belongs. He proposed the final toast, after reminding guests of his pride in the House’s outstanding success in Asia.

The evening reached a spectacular conclusion with fireworks and illuminations evoking Maison Martell’s historic ties with Asia – a dazzling display which lit up the Château de Chanteloup and the skies over Cognac.

Fireworks above the Chateau de Chanteloup in the Cognac Region
Fireworks over Chanteloup Castle x Single Cru Launch Event
Hand holding a medallion that's attached to the vine in the Cognac vineyard
Adopt a vine medallion x Single Cru Launch Event
Remy Savage surrounded by a crowd at Indigo Bar. The martell swift sign is on the background wall.
Mixology workshop with Remy Savage x Single Cru Launch Event
Tasting table at Galienne. Several glasses of Cognac Martell on a table with a greenery background.
Tasting Worskhop at Galienne x Single Cru Launch Event
Tasting table at Atelier Gatebouse. Private and luxury atmosphere.
Atelier Gatebourse dans l'Atelier x Single Cru Launch Event
Red Seo making a cocktail with Cognac Martell
Red Seo at Mixology workshop x Single Cru Launch Event
Bottle of Single Cru Borderie Vintage 1999 standing in the middle of a dressed table for an event. Lots of flowers around the bottle and crowd in the background
Gala dinner at Chanteloup Castle x Single Cru Launch Event
Screen showcasing a presentation about Cognac Martell and Single Cru collection
Tasting Worskhop at Galienne x Single Cru Launch Event
Christophe Valtaud giving a speach to a crowd at Martell
Tasting Worskhop at Galienne with Christophe Valtaud x Single Cru Launch Event
Men in profil looking away and holding a glass of Cognac Martell at the Indigo Terrasse
Tasting at Indigo Terrasse in Cognac x Single Cru Launch Event
Group picture in the Vineyard of Martell in Cognac
Vineyard group photo x Single Cru Launch Event