Tag Archives: Cognac

Fighting Climate Change: Pharrell Williams x Louis XIII and the Gift of 100 Years

The science of global warming is clear and so are the solutions, yet we find ourselves hesitant to act. In many interviews, LUXUO has often quizzed wine, whisky and cognac makers on whether climate change has affected the production of fine vintages. However, the general response is that while climate change and global warming in general is affecting growth and yields of grape vines, the reality is that the roots grow deep enough over the centuries that the effects are not immediately felt. That said, there are deleterious effects on wine, whisky and cognac production – blended whiskys and cognacs which use multiple ingredients can compensate for changes in taste profiles and flavours but wines are hardest hit.

Fighting Climate Change: Pharrell Williams x Louis XIII and the Gift of 100 Years

In November 2017, Louis XIII announced 100 Years, a new song by Pharrell Williams that would only be released in 2117 (obviously 100 years from date of production). It is the coolest, most compelling way to combat climate change thus far. Louis XIII partnered with Pharrell on this innovative project due to shared passion for the environment and William’s new single “100 Years” – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care is a unique musical composition composed and developed by the multi-Grammy award winner and two time Academy Award nominee.

How does creative expression combat climate change one might wonder? The Pharrell Williams x Louis XIII 100 Years is cast in record made of clay from the chalky soil of Cognac and will be stored in the cellars of Louis XIII in a state-of-art safe specially designed by Fichet-Bauche that is only destructible when submerged in water.

Thus William’s exclusive track 100 Years – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care exemplifies the delicate relationship between nature and time and more importantly the literal effect we have on our environment. Just as his musical work, now cast in clay from the Cognac region where Louis XIII is made, each decanter of Louis XIII represents the life achievement of generations of Cellar Masters, requiring Louis XIII to think 100 years ahead in a similar fashion.

“I love the fact that Louis XIII thinks a century ahead. We should all do the same for the planet. We have a common interest in preserving nature for the future. Each bottle is the life achievement of generations of men and women. It’s all about legacy and transmission.” – Pharrell Williams

Scientists have projected that our sea levels will continue to rise at an alarming rate as a result of climate change and the numbers are not encouraging. In a 100 years, the majority of land will be submerged. Thus, the only way to guarantee that our children’s children will hear this exclusive Pharrell Williams track is to address the tragic consequences of global warming since 100 Years by Pharrell Williams will only be unlocked from the special safe in 2117 and released #IfWeCare.

“We are incredibly proud of this innovative project. Nature and time are at the heart of what we do. If the environment is unstable, even the greatest cellar master would not be able to compose the exceptional blend that is Louis XIII. Global warming is one of the most important issues of the 21st century; with 100 Years – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care, we hope to inspire people around the world to take action.” – Ludovic du Plessis, Global Executive Director of Louis XIII

Previously, Louis XIII had partnered with renowned actor and visionary John Malkovich to create “100 Years: The Movie You Will Never See” in 2015 to explore the relationship of past, present and future. Pharrell Williams’ 100 Years – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care follows in the same vein and will only be released in 2117 (that is if we haven’t accidentally killed the Earth and ourselves along with it).



Luxury spirits: Record French alcohol sales in 2016, led by Cognac

According to the French Federation of Exporters (FEVS), France can thank alcohol for the 1.2 percent increase in export revenue last year. Valued at 11.9 billion euros, a third of the amount is attributed to the sale of spirits while Cognac hit an all-time export high.

The figures showed that while the amount of wine sold declined — France fell behind Italy as the world’s biggest wine producer two years ago — the product that was sold was of higher quality than in previous years and hence sold for a higher price. Alcohol is now France’s second biggest export sector after the aerospace industry.

Cognac was the star product in 2016, showing a 5.5 percent rise in sales, with drinkers in the United States happy to pay premium prices and Chinese customers rediscovering their taste for luxury, too. Wine sales dropped 1.8 percent, continuing a downward trend in terms of volume, and in value. The post-Brexit vote drop in the value of the pound hit the important British market, with a sharp 10-percent drop in wine sales.

However, France’s main market, the United States, was strong and accounted for 2.8 billion euros of business, equivalent to one-quarter of the overall sales, “mainly thanks to a euro-dollar parity that was favourable to our exports”, said FEVS president Christophe Navarre.

China returned with a bang after a lean few years, with a 12.7 percent rise in sales, but French wine producers said they feared the key Chinese market was fragile. “Our competitors such as Chile have agreements with China, where they no longer pay any customs taxes, while we still pay quite high taxes,” said Philippe Casteja, a Saint-Emilion-based producer, who was speaking on behalf of Bordeaux wines.

Limited Edition French Cognac: A journey through time with the Louis XIII Time Collection

Five centuries may have passed but tradition never dies and Louis XIII showcases this perfectly well with its new limited edition Time Collection. The first release in the collection is aptly named “The Origin — 1874” and pays tribute to the journey that the brand has made since it was founded by 142 years Paul-Émile Rémy Martin. Using up to 1,200 eaux-de-vie grand champagnes, the cognac brings only the best that the brand has to offer and a new chapter will be released once every two years.louis-xiii-time-collection-the-origin-open-coffret-view

The spirit has had a distinguished place in history, by being present at numerous historical events. From joining guests on board the Orient Express, to sailing with the S.S Normandie and even accompanying royalty as well as iconic politicians, it is no secret that the cognac has had quite a journey. The Louis VIII Time Collection brings its adventure to us in 2016.

The original Louis XIII decanter in its wicker basket

The original Louis XIII decanter in its wicker basket

With such a rich history — and we truly believe that this is no exaggeration — Louis XIII brings back the design of its original decanter. The original design featured 13 dentelle spikes and a unique design that was in fact in the form of an upturned decanter. Unlike the elegant cases we have today, the cognac was then delivered to its destination in wicker baskets that were sealed with a thin metal rod.

Making the Saint Louis Crystal

Making the Saint Louis Crystal

Today, the brand celebrates the beginning with the original 13-spike decanter and stopper in pure Saint-Louis crystal. Naturally, the wicker basket gave way to a sleek metal case with woven textures. An ode to the past, the two-year wait for the next addition to the collection is one that many will look forward to.

Louis XIII Cognac Sets New Sotheby’s Record

Sotheby’s set a new record of $558,000 with the sale of three Louis XIII L’Odyssée D’un Roi limited edition decanters. The three specially crafted decanters are the result of more than a century of fine craftsmanship from three prestigious French luxury houses: Hermès, Puiforcat and Saint-Louis .

Before the auction that saw the decanters being sold for a total of $558,000, the objets-d’art had a whirlwind tour that saw it visit various cities around the globe. Last month, the auction house saw the Americas edition of the same cognac beat the previous record price set for a Louis XIII decanter. Later that same month, the Asia edition beat its own previous auction record in Hong Kong. The final decanter, the Europe edition, was sold on November 16 at Sotheby’s London for $235,000._louis-xiii_l_odyssee-dun-roi_-nov-2016-auction

The proceeds from the sale of the three tailor-made coupes will go towards The Film Foundation that was created by Martin Scorsese. Created in 1990, the foundation helps to restore and preserve the traditions and history of cinema. “Sotheby’s was delighted to help raise funds for The Film Foundation through this unique series of auctions, each in our major sales locations” said Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine.

Martell Cordon Bleu Intense Heat Cask Finish Debuts

Martell may be a 300-year-old cognac house but thanks to their innovative methods, the brand has managed to remain a major player in the world of cognacs. Earlier this month, the House of Martell unveiled a result of this innovation with the Martell Cordon Bleu Intense Heat Cask Finish whose name refers to the aging process of the Cordon Bleu.

Like other Cordon Bleu’s produced by the brand, the lovely amber-coloured concoction is created using a blend of over 100 extra old eau-de-vie. However, what sets the limited edition eaux-de-vie apart, are the casks used to transform the final product. Normally, Martell ages the eaux-de-vie in oak barrels that have been slightly burnt — which explains the hint of woodiness we have come to love.

For the Intense Heat Cask Finish, Martell completed the aging process with oak barrels that have been intensely burnt from the inside — better known as ‘chauffe crocodile’. What this method does, is bring out the sweet spice notes and intensifies aromas that can be enjoyed with each sip of the Martell Cordon Bleu Intense Heat Cask Finish.

Accompanying the hints of vanilla, wood, almond and mocha coffee that greet the palate, are notes of honey and candied fruits. The after taste that lingers, is a mild spice that balances out the sweetness that greets you in the beginning. The Martell Cordon Bleu Intense Heat Cask Finish is available for private purchase at $312, perfect for that special someone this holiday season.

World’s First Louis XIII Boutique Opens In Beijing

World’s First Louis XIII Cognac Store Opens Beijing

In what must be welcome news for lovers of only the finest of fine cognac, Louis XIII cognac has just opened the world’s first and only Louis XIII store in Beijing. Located at the luxury shopping destination called Beijing SKP, the new boutique will offer guests a unique experience, which is of course you would expect because this is Louis XIII and there is only one such store in the world.World’s First Louis XIII Boutique Opens In Beijing

Officially opened September 20, the boutique offers clients a bespoke service and exclusive Louis XIII experiences to help foster close personal bonds with the brand. A salon that is devoted to the universe of Louis XIII accompanies the boutique and represents yet another first for the Rémy Cointreau owned label, which is the highest expression of the cognac Rémy Martin. “Louis XIII cognac is an icon of French art de vivre and excellence. With this world-premire, Louis XIII is changing the rules of the game in spirits, posing the founding stone of a new chapter in its history,” said Eric Vallat, CEO of the House of Rémy Martin.World’s First Louis XIII Boutique Opens In Beijing

Louis XIII cognac enlisted the help of interior design firm RDAI, the team behind the Hermès flagships, Elie Saab Paris and Yves Saint Laurent to create a luxurious 132 square meter space. Using limestone for the chalky interior, copper to create the eaux-de-vie stills, oak that represents the casks used to age the cognac, the interior boasts luxury and elegance at every turn. In the heart of the boutique is the private Eternity Room that is used solely to unveil limited edition cognacs and host visiting luminaries. The centerpiece of the room is The Century Wheel, which is a circle of light that ‘travels through the 10 decades the comprise Louis XIII’.World’s First Louis XIII Boutique Opens In Beijing

Guests will be treated to tasting opportunities and food pairings alongside special editions and unique Louis XIII products that will be sold exclusively at the boutique.

This limited-edition Rémy Martin XO carafe is signed by jury members from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (Ethan and Joel Coen, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Xavier Dolan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Guillermo del Toro, Rossy de Palma and Rokia Traoré). © Rémy Martin/La Part des Anges Rémy Martin/La Part des Anges

Guide: La Part des Anges Cognac Auction

For the 10th consecutive year, France’s national cognac board (Bureau Interprofessionnel du Cognac, BNIC) is holding an auction in collaboration with Artcurial, selling 24 prestigious carafes containing precious cognacs, some more than a hundred years old. The “La Part des Anges” auction is an annual event that draws collectors from all over the world. It’s due to be held September 22 in the French town of — where else? — Cognac. Find out more about the auction in this Q&A.

What is being sold in this auction? 

Twenty-four prestigious carafes of cognac have been generously donated by some of France’s top cognac makers. All are luxury items in their own right, both in their physical form and in their contents. The Hine distillery, for example, has donated a bottle of its 1916 vintage cognac in a beechwood presentation case finished with a design by contemporary artist, James Viscardi. Its auction price is estimated at €7,000 (approx. $7,865). Proceeds of the “La Part de Anges” auction are donated to charity. This year, funds will go to “Apprentis d’Auteuil,” a foundation that helps young people experiencing difficulties in their home, school or social lives. This 10th edition of the auction is also being sponsored by Michelin-starred chef, Guy Savoy.

Who can bid in the auction? 

Each year, collectors from all over the world head to this eagerly awaited event, which has become an early fall tradition. A charity gala dinner is also held to accompany the event. However, the auction is open to all wine and spirit lovers, who can bid for carafes live online at www.artcurial.com. Bidders will need to sign up at least two working days in advance. The Artcurial sales office can be contacted by email or telephone:[email protected],  +33 (0) 1 42 99 20 51.

What kind of price do carafes start from? 

Carafes in the “La Part des Anges” auction start from an estimated price of €1,000 (approx. $1,124), for a Rémy Martin bottle. This unique example of the limited-edition jeroboam-sized XO cognac was specially designed for the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The bottle is even signed by that year’s jury presidents, Ethan and Joel Coen, and jury members, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Xavier Dolan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Guillermo del Toro, Rossy de Palma and Rokia Traoré. This lot is a truly exceptional gift, as it also includes a 24-hour VIP experience at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, including the chance to walk the famous Cannes steps for a movie screening.

How much is the most expensive carafe expected to fetch? 

The most expensive carafe is a Hennessy bottle estimated at €20,000 ($22,474). The cognac maker — part of France’s LVMH group — has donated a carafe with an understated appearance, housing an exclusive blend of eauxde-vie from a century-old cellar. The master blender has drawn on the contents of this prestigious storehouse to create an “Edition Particulière” cognac especially for the “La Part des Anges” auction. It promises a timeless blend of remarkable intensity, reflecting the historic savoir-faire of the Hennessy distillery.

Where does the name of the auction, “La Part des Anges,” come from?

“La Part de Anges” means “the angels’ share” in English. This poetic and evocative name refers to a well-known phenomenon in the world of cognac making. As it ages, this French brandy draws flavor from the oak barrels it is stored in to mature. Since the cognac is in constant contact with air, some of the spirit’s alcohol evaporates during the process. This is known as “the angels’ share.” The process also helps cognacs develop more complex and refined flavors.

Remy Martin Carte Blanche

Rémy Martin Carte Blache á Baptiste Loiseau

During the years he spent perfecting his craft under the tutelage of Remy Martin legend Pierette Trichet, Baptiste Loiseau tasted just about every eau-de-vie that had been set aside by previous cellar masters for their exceptional ageing potential. Now, having been granted “carte blanche” as the Cellar Master of Rémy Martin, he applies his wealth of knowledge to a special blend that is characteristic of the storied cognac house for a limited edition Carte Blanche a Baptiste Loiseau, in partnership with DFS Group.

Handpicked from the Gensac-la-Pallue cellar, the cask chosen by Loiseau reveals a balanced mix of lilac and spicy nutmeg notes, accompanied by intense aromas of leather, incense and black tea. It reportedly boasts a remarkably long finish, which we will be eager to sample.

Peter Sant, Managing Director, Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail, added, “Rémy Martin is one of the best-loved brands of Cognac in the world and has over many generations established an enthusiastic fan base, particularly in Asia. Today’s consumers value heritage, tradition and authenticity, as did their forebears, but they covet also the new, the unusual, the exclusive. We are excited to work with DFS on the exclusive launch of this special limited edition, Carte Blanche n°1, the first expression from our new Cellar Master at the House of Remy Martin, Baptiste Loiseau.”

Available exclusively at DFS Singapore Changi Airport in a handful of numbered bottles, the Rémy Martin Carte Blanche n°1 is a reflection of the Maison with its “Charentes” bottle, complete with a refined coffret encasement. The limited edition premium spirit will retail at S$295 nett at DFS until October 2016.

Louis XIII Le Mathusalem: Six Liter Fine Cognac

Joining forces with crystal maker Baccarat, cognac house Remy Martin presents the world with a unique blend of brandy, the Louis XIII Le Mathusalem. The six-liter cognac, which is brandy from the Cognac region in France, is presented in a crystal carafe by Baccarat that is known as a Mathusalem.

Crafting the specially designed carafe is no easy feat, considering that it takes more than 20 master craftspeople from Baccarat to create it. An old metal flask dug up from a battlefield in 1850 inspired the design and shape of the decanter, while the brand retained Remy Martin’s iconic Fleur-de-lis medallions. Each of the decanters are mouth-blown and numbered while the neck of the bottle is adorned with 24k gold.

The cognac in each crystal carafe has been produced by blending 1,200 eaux de vie that are aged in Remy Martin’s cellars. While some of the cognacs sit in oak barrels for at least 40 years, a select few are even aged for a hundred years. The eaux de vie are made using wine grapes from the Grande Champagne area in the Cognac region; this is the most obvious distinction separating Louis XIII from other cognacs because it is 100% Grande Champagne.

Each limited edition decanter will be accompanied by a pipette that was designed exclusively for the Louis XIII Le Mathusalem. The pipettes are used by the cellar masters to extract and taste each eaux de vie from the barrels. Fans of the cognac can expect the first release to be launched sometime between September to October. Come November, the Louis XIII Le Mathusalem will be available at Harrods, the London department store.


4 Asia-Pacific Wine Trends Revealed at Vinexpo

We’ve previously covered wine trends in Singapore and Japan, now Vinexpo brings us the findings from Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Here, we bring you the four major trends of wine consumption in these Asia-Pacific countries.

1) Reds over whites

The consensus is clear: reds continue to be the wine of choice in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, accounting for 89 percent, 74 percent and 83 percent of market share respectively.

In Taiwan, this figure is forecasted to grow by another 13 percent by 2019. Taiwanese consumers tipped back 1.45 million 9-liter cases of red wine, compared with 180,000 cases of white and 2,500 cases of rose. Even so, the reception of white wine is expected to grow 14 percent by 2019.

While Koreans generally enjoy reds for its purported health benefits, white wines are also fast gaining favor for pairing well with Korean cuisine. It is also interesting to note that the per capita consumption of wine in South Korea has doubled over the last decade, to average 0.8 liters of wine a year. Between 2010 and 2014, the per capita consumption grew nearly 40 percent, and is expected to rise another 20 percent over the next five years. This marks the consumption in South Korea as one of the sharpest increases in the Asia Pacific region.


2) French wines are still preferred, except…

French wines are reported to be the most popular import in Taiwan with 37 percent of market share and Hong Kong with 27 percent. After French wines, Australian, US and Chilean wines are most popular. Between 2010 and 2014, US wines saw major growth, increasing by 41 percent.

Taiwan’s share of French wines is expected to dip due to the increasing popularity of Chilean wines (currently second in popularity at 18 percent), which are perceived as better value for money. US and Australian wines follow closely behind.

South Koreans bucked the French wines trend, favoring Chilean wines, with 10.2 million bottles imported a year.

3) Getting tipsy over bubbly

Like the Japanese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong people have developed a taste for sparkling wines. Vinexpo reported that its popularity has increased by a remarkable 51 percent over the last five years in Hong Kong, driven largely by the growing popularity of Prosecco and Cava which grew a whopping 89 percent and 110 percent respectively. Meanwhile in Taiwan, a 15-percent increase by 2019 is projected.


4) Spirits still high in demand

As the world’s third largest market for single malt Scotch after the US and France, Taiwan boasted a consumption of 1.813 million cases of whisky in 2014, a figure expected to swell up to 1.921 million cases by 2019. Cognac and Armagnac are the country’s second most popular spirits.

The focus in Hong Kong, however, is on tequila and rum as its consumption is expected to grow 36 percent and 21 percent between 2015 and 2019 respectively. The popularity of whisky remains stable with 186,000 9-liter cases consumed, topping cognac at 77,000 cases. People in Hong Kong are also increasingly exploring Japanese whisky and American bourbon.

South Korea – the third largest spirits consuming nation in Asia-Pacific after China and India – has reported a decline in consumption of local spirits such as soju and baijiu. However, tequila, vodka and gin have marked improvements of 17 percent, 12 percent and 14 percent respectively.

The Vinexpo 2016 runs 24 – 26 May 2016 in Hong Kong. 

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Royal Treat: Louis XIII L’Odyssee d’un Roi

Always pushing the boundaries of exclusivity and luxurious design, cognac house Remy Martin, in collaboration with some of the biggest names in artisanal design, has come up with a full luxury set featuring its Louis XIII cognac at the heart. The aptly titled L’Odyssee d’un Roi (A King’s Odyssey because, of course) features a bespoke trunk by Hermes, pieces by silversmith Puiforcat, and glasswork by royal crystallerie Saint-Louis. It will be auctioned off in New York at Sotheby’s in September. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the Film Foundation, a non-profit that works to preserve and restore classic films. You might recall that Louis XIII enjoys grand theater, as evidenced by its efforts with the John Malkovich film.

The bespoke trunk by Hermes is entirely hand-stitched with fine leathers and bears the same design as a classic steamer trunk (fitting in with the Odyssey theme). Puiforcat has its hand in making the elegant white-gold pipette bearing the name and the logo. The beautiful decanter with its ridges on the side, as well as four serving glasses, were blown by a craftsperson, cut, and engraved with impeccable skill at Saint-Louis. The whole package comes with a book chronicling the global journey of the cognac that boasts a history stretching back to the 1870s. All of it added up together as 1,000 hours of labor split between 50 artisans.

Of course we have to take note of the cognac itself. The liquid gold in each decanter is the work of both the current cellar master Baptiste Loiseau and his predecessor Pierrette Trichet. The blend invokes tints and notes of myrrh, honey, immortelle, plum, honeysuckle, wood bark, leather and passion fruits. What we know from oficial sources is that this blend is not the standard Louis XIII offering, although it is still all Grand Champagne. Before the auction, the three sets created will be exhibited in New York, Hong Kong and London.

You can watch how the process of craftsmanship comes together below, and if you want to know more, you can check out Remy Martin’s website.


Vinexpo HK Reveals Singapore’s Favorite Wine

In the never-ending battle between red and white wine, Singaporeans have chosen a winner. In the run-up to Vinexpo Hong Kong, consumption trends in Singapore, as well as five other Asia-Pacific countries were analyzed, revealing a clear preference for red wine. It was revealed that red wine represented 70 percent of the market in Singapore, with 645,000 9-liter cases consumed in 2014. In contrast, only 251,000 cases of white wine were consumed in the same year, though that figure is set to grow slightly by 1.2 percent by 2019.

Australian wines have been shown to dominate the import market in Singapore (there is no other market in Singapore as the island has exactly zero wineries), holding a 38.5 percent of market share as compared with Chilean wines at 16.5 percent and French wines at 16 percent.

On another front, whisky remains Singapore’s favorite spirit (judging by our associate publisher and designers’ office bar, we agree), with its popularity projected to rise 14 percent by 2019. Cognac and armagnac – the second most popular spirits – are slated to decline nearly six percent over the next five years, mainly due to the declining numbers of Chinese tourists.

Gin and tequila are the fourth and fifth most popular spirits, with consumption predicted to spike through to 2019: gin is predicted to grow by 29 percent and tequila, 23 percent. Where is rum in all this, we have to wonder…

The Vinexpo 2016 in Hong Kong will be a three-day trade-only show for international wine and spirits professionals to converge to exchange ideas and knowledge. Held from 24 – 26 May 2016, the event is expecting 16,700 buyers from 24 countries and 1,300 exhibitors from all over the world.

5 Reasons to Visit Savour Gourmet 2016

We can almost hear you foodies rejoicing. From 12 – 15 May 2016, SAVOUR brings together a stellar line-up of local and guest overseas restaurants to Bayfront Avenue, Singapore for Savour Gourmet, the first of a three-part edition of distinctly-themed gastronomic events this year.

Savour_BuonaTerra_Gambero Rosso

Here’s five reasons why you should make this gourmet paradise a part of your itinerary this weekend:

1) Admission is free…

Because the good guys at Savour know how seriously Singaporeans take their food, they’ve made it free for public admission so there’s no harm dropping by, though you probably wouldn’t leave empty-handed. Before you rush off though, you won’t be sampling delights for free. Like a good club, there is no cover but the drinks are another matter…

2) Meet celebrity chefs while supporting local ones

You’ll recognize two famous face in the crowd: celebrity chef and MasterChef Canada judge Alvin Leung and his protégé Eric Chong, winner of the first MasterChef Canada. The “Devil Chef” of three Michelin starred restaurant Bo Innovation will serve his signature Molecular Xiao Long Bao, while Chong serves up delectable Asian-inspired dishes. Meanwhile, look out for local talents such as Ronald Li of Salt Tapas & Bar, Jonathan Li of Artichoke and Allen Tan of Saveur Art.


3) Jason’s Gourmet Market

Your Savour experience isn’t complete without a trip to the specialty market, where you’ll find Alaskan crabs, Iberico pork, Miyazaki wagyu and other fine cuts. You can also choose from a selection of over 200 cheeses, kick back with a glass of wine at the Jasons wine terrace and end the night with a very decadent Hokkaido lavender ice cream. There is also an oyster bar, to take you over the top in indulging your foodie inclinations.

4) Sample more than 30 stellar dishes

This is not your usual hawker fare – Look forward to exotic creations, such as the Foie-ffle (corn waffle topped with foie gras butter) by Artichoke, Labyrinth Chili Crab (tempura soft shell crab with chili ice cream) by Labyrinth and Twice Cooked Kurobuta Pork Belly with Cured Iberico Bellota Ham by CATO, amongst many others.


5) A Martell experience like no other

Explore the colliding worlds of Asian cuisine and cognac at L’Espace Martell, a casual setting where you can expect exquisite cocktails and tastings of the Martell Cordon Bleu. Chefs of participating restaurants will also create original dishes that best pair with the signature blend as part of the Martell Projects: Chef, a competition to discover Martell’s first young Ambassador Chef.


Participating restaurants:

Buona Terra, Salt Tapas & Bar, CATO, Saveur Art, Lower East Side, Gattopardo, Artichoke, Bar A Thym, Labyrinth, R&D.

The 2016 SAVOUR Calendar:

SAVOUR Gourmet: 12 – 15 May
SAVOUR Wines: 8 – 11 Sept
SAVOUR Christmas: 17 – 20 Nov

Visit Savour.sg for more details.


Rémy Martin Unveils Cannes XO Limited Edition

Before the stars grace the red carpet in Cannes, Rémy Martin is stealing a bit of the spotlight. For the 13th year in a row, the brand that is the very essence of Cognac fine champagne is proud to be the exclusive partner of the Cannes Film Festival. To mark the occasion, the brand is launching its latest Rémy Martin XO Limited Edition.

The relationship is showcased, with the help of the symbolic film reel that is draped gracefully around the iconic carafe is delicately gilded —who said the ladies were the only ones to be stars. Their shared values are reflected in the limited edition, such as elegance, knowledge and the French art of living.


The carafe is presented in an exclusive case and sees the limited edition at the top of the stairs. The intense mahogany color and sophisticated appearance of the carafe, are a hallmark of excellence of Cognac Fine Champagne.

The limited edition will be available at DFS in Changi Airport and will be stocked by exclusive online retailer 75cl for S$358.

Hennessy X.O Textures Gold

In a celebration of 250 years of top class cognac production, Hennessy sought the collaboration of prestigious designer Tom Dixon for a very special edition of cognac. The Hennessy X.O Exclusive Collection 2015 comes in a beautifully pixelated gold carafe and carries inside its shell a full bottle of tastefully complex brandy.

You can check out the full story over at Men’s Folio

Cognac Bounces Back in 2015

After facing big drops in demand in recent years, cognac is once more on the rise, thanks in no small part to connoisseurs in North America. The AFP reports that consumers in Canada and the US have rediscovered a taste for fine spirits again in 2015, leading to the current recovery.

After a disastrous few years in which global sales of cognac fell 10 percent between 2013 and 2014, the latest figures from the Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac (BNIC), show that 2015 saw the market rebound, with a 21 percent growth in sales over 2014.

Overall, cognac shipments reached nearly 168.9 million bottles in 2015, marking a 9 percent increase in volume, reaching sales of €2.6 billion in sales.

Global cognac sales plummeted following China’s austerity and anti-extravagance campaign, aimed at curbing extravagant spending and gifting among government and military ranks. The move also stamped out the steady growth of cognac in the economically burgeoning country.


But in 2015, North America emerged as an important market for the cognac industry, where demand grew 13 percent in volume and 39 percent in value. Current levels of consumption are even higher than the years when rappers Busta Rhymes and P.Diddy were passing the Courvoisier, Tupac was serenading Hennessy and Jay Z was drinking D’USSE out of his Grammy trophy.

Overall, shipments to the US reached their highest level yet, at 65.3 million bottles.

To fill the gap left by China, the world’s biggest cognac players – Hennessy, Remy Martin, Martell and Courvoisier – have turned their gaze westward over the last few years, mounting high-profile campaigns to attract a new market.

Last fall, Remy Martin tapped The Avengers star Jeremy Renner to front the brand in their “One Life/Live Them” campaign in the US, targeting affluent, male readers with spots on ESPN, TBS, Comedy Central and FX.

Martell enlisted actress and model Diane Kruger (seen above) as brand ambassador, to help the brand gain more attention from US fans last year.

And Hennessy took the brand on the road last year throwing lavish, glitzy parties around the world with a stop that included New York to mark their 250th anniversary.

After a drought in Asia, sales also bounced back in 2015, recording a growth of 8 percent in volume and value, for a total of 50.6 million bottles. Growth in Europe, however, was modest, at 0.6 percent.

Louis XIII Produces Movie You Will Never See

This is one for the ages, literally. Louis XIII has announced a movie you will never live to see: 100 Years – The Movie You Will Never See. Now, the auteurist fable about life in 2115 starring John Malkovich and directed by Robert Rodriguez has actually been completed, you just can’t see it. Malkovich himself placed the master film reel into a safe November 18 that cannot be opened till 2115, thanks to a countdown system that requires no external power system and has no key. This unusual arrangement means that audiences of 2115 will have a very strange experience indeed – contemporary life as imagined for them by their ancestors.


For some context, just imagine Back to the Future II, except with just the 2015 parts, premiering October 15 this year, the date the film is set. If anything can be called mind-boggling this is surely it and we salute the folks at Louis XIII cognac for daring to even conceive of it, much less actually accomplish it. Actually, they will have only accomplished something when the film premieres and the reception at that time, well no one can say.


What, you might ask in all fairness, is the point of this? In luxury, brands are frequently reaching into the distant past to create the present. In the case of makers of fine liquors and such, it is an endeavor that begins in the past and only ends in the future. This is because anything grown, harvested and processed today can only be enjoyed at some point in the future. Typically, the Louis XIII cellar master will know when that date will be but can’t know for certain what the final liquid will taste like, nor what contemporary tastes might run to. It is precisely this commitment to a future that can never be known, can never be rushed, that this exercise with 100 Years – The Movie You Will Never See is all about.


“Louis XIII is a true testament to the mastery of time, and we sought to create a proactive piece of art that explores the dynamic relationship of the past, the present, and the future,” said Ludovic du Plessis, Global Executive Director for Louis XIII Cognac. “Four generations of Louis XIII cellar masters put a lifetime of passion into a bottle of Louis XIII, yet they will never taste the resulting masterpiece. We are thrilled that this talented actor and creative filmmaker were inspired to join us on this artistic endeavor.”


According to the official release from Louis XIII, the film was conceived by Malkovich, who “developed” the screenplay from an idea by the Remy Martin owned cognac firm. Malkovich stars in the film, alongside Shuya Chang. Malkovich had this to say about the project: “When I was first approached I really loved the idea… I mean, in a way I wish all the films I made wouldn’t have been seen for a hundred years. I don’t know how much that would change the way they are regarded…”


Although there is really no film to see till 2115 – and only the descendants of the guests invited to the preview will get a ticket – there are three teasers available here. You can check out one of the teasers at the bottom of this story. Interestingly, 2015 is the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity (do the math on 2115) and we think an exercise like this one is entirely in keeping with that momentous anniversary too. Also, we are unhappy that no one got an invite for that preview, which means all of us at Luxuo will have to disappoint our descendants!


Martell 300th Anniversary

Martell Pop-Up Space & Cordon Bleu Limited Edition

In celebration of the House’s tricentenary, Cellar Master Benoît Fil has crafted a unique version of the legendary cognac Martell Cordon Bleu. The reinterpretation of the exquisite blend pays tribute to the House’s history and Edouard Martell’s legendary creation, by using 300 year-old oak barrels to rest the liquid, and through the beautiful, original packaging it is presented in.

Martell 300th Anniversary

At the Martell 300th Anniversary pop-up space, located at the airport’s North-side Departure East Hall of Terminal 1, travellers can savour complimentary tastings of Martell Cordon Bleu accompanied by French foie gras – an ideal culinary partner and evocative of France’s rich gastronomic history.

Martell Cordon Bleu Anniversary

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the craftsmanship and history of Martell’s distinctly French Heritage, with Dame-Jeanne large glass jars designed to store old eau-de-vie and historic cognac bottles on display. A photo experience provides accessories and scenery that whisk guests away to a sophisticated Martell French living room overlooking the abundant vineyards of Cognac.

Martell 300th Anniversary Hong Kong airport

To make the travel journey more memorable and rewarding, visiting guests who register at www.martell300.com will be entitled to the Martell VIP Pass. Privileges with the Martell VIP Pass include a tasting of the exclusive Martell Chanteloup Perspective and a complimentary exclusive gift from Martell.

Cordon Bleu 300th Anniversary

Ryan McGinness

Hennessy VS Limited Edition by Ryan McGinness [VIDEO]

Ryan McGinness

Hennessy has tapped multi-disciplinary New York artist Ryan McGinness to redesign its label as part of the brand’s 250th anniversary celebrations.

The result? A bold, radiating, kaleidoscopic pattern of fluorescent colors that glows when placed under black light.

McGinness is best known for seeking inspiration from graphic drawings, public signage, corporate logos and iconography to create his art.

Hennessy VS Ryan McGinness

His work is housed permanently at the Museum of Modern Art, MUSAC in Spain, and the Misumi Collection in Japan among others.

For the Hennessy V.S label, McGinness was also given permission to reinterpret the brand’s motif and coat of arms.

Even the bottle’s metadata — information found on the back of the label in fine print — is expressed through visual symbology.

Hennessy VS bottle

McGinness will tour with the brand as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations around the world, appearing in New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles starting this month.

Limited edition bottles are $32, while commemorative gift boxes are also available for $150.

Hennessy 250 Collector Blend

Moët Hennessy Unveils Hennessy 250 Collector Blend

Hennessy 250 Collector Blend

After China, Russia, and the US,  will bring their 250th anniversary world tour to South Africa this month.

But for cognac fans who won’t have the chance to attend the official and glitzy events, the luxury brand has released a rare collector’s blend to mark the occasion for $600.

To make the commemorative blend, master blenders used eaux-de-vie ranging in age from 15 to 35 years, and aged it for five years in specially crafted barrels, stored at ground level on near the banks of the river Charente in Cognac, France.

The result is a cognac that’s rich and expressive on the nose, with aromatic tones that range from bitter orange and freshly grated nutmeg, to licorice, dried peppermint leaf, and saffron, says Hennessy.

The finish is said to be nuanced with “spicy complexity.”

Each limited edition, 1-liter bottle of Hennessy 250 Collector Blend retails for $600 and comes in a gift box with a copper metallic surface.