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Dixneuf Pere et Fils 1971 Fins Bois Cognac

  • Dixneuf Pere et Fils 1971 Fins Bois Cognac

Dixneuf Pere et Fils 1971 Fins Bois Cognac

  • Availability: In Stock
  • Quantity Available: 4
  • SKU #: 9772
  • $174.99


Dixneuf Pere et Fils 1971 Fins Bois Cognac

  • Availability: In Stock
  • Quantity Available: 4
  • SKU #: 9772
  • $174.99


Dixneuf Pere et Fils 1971 Fins Bois Cognac

In the glass this (1971) shows a deep amber color. The nose shows deep notes of dried fruits with a nutty rancio, spice and a sandalwood aroma set. The palate shows a wonderful balance between its alcohol, tannin and fruit notes.

The producer is the happy meeting of our man on the ground (Charles Neal) facilitated by a producer we introduced to you last year, Stephane Denis. This all went down before the world changed, so what follows is a first person account of the small, tight knit community of Cognac, and the singular work of Kylian Dixneuf and his Extra Vieux. 

Charles Neal: One day I was browsing at the Cognathèque, the region’s pre-eminent store for quality Cognac with a couple colleagues, to see if there were any releases from producers that we had not yet been acquainted with. The owner of the boutique, Stephane Denis, led us to a bottling that may be of interest put out by a couple we didn’t recognize. After Stephane gave us their phone number, we called and set up a meeting in a couple of days time with this producer out in the Fins Bois whose name was especially intriguing: Kylian Dixneuf.

I have been in the Cognac game for decades, and I had never heard this first or last name in France. We bantered about the possibilities amongst ourselves. Was this an Irish producer, we thought? Did the Dixneuf (the number 19 in French) have further meaning? Was he from the Correze (department 19)? Was he a punk, who preferred to be known by a number? Who was this guy? The next day we drove toward Angouleme and shortly after Jarnac exited and headed north through Foussignac. Here the countryside begins to open up and the vineyard plots seem larger. This part of Cognac is also perceptively quieter versus other parts of Cognac. It seems that the only sound was the distant hum of a tractor. We arrived in the town of Vaux-Rouillac looking for the sign indicating the domaine. We were plum out of luck, and began to head out of the town on a stretch of road that was bordered by green hay. This was not feeling like France anymore with a clear blue sky overhead it was if we had been transported to perhaps Northern Scotland, far away from civilization. The road came to the top of a hill, and we decided amongst ourselves that it may be time to turn around and ask for directions. A kindly passerby pointed us in the direction of the domaine, located close to the church. We rang the bell and were met by a woman who introduced herself as Martine Dixneuf. She tells us her husband was out in the vineyard and called him on his cell phone. It was at that time that I noticed the house number—19. “Coincidence?” I ask, pointing to the number when she gets off the phone. She laughed. “It isn’t actually the correct number. Though that is our actual last name. A while ago the town hall let us change the number so that it matched our name.” Kylian arrived soon. He looked to be in his late fifties and most of his once dark hair and beard are now white. He led us into a tasting room with a long table, and we sat down to talk a bit. Kylian asked us, “We should drink something while we chat, right?” “Of course,” we say in harmony.

He looked over the set of options and gave us each a glass of Hennessy Master’s Blend Selection No. 3 at 43% ABV. “I guess we should start by tasting my stuff, but I’ve been working with Hennessy for over thirty years and they have always treated me well, so I don’t mind sharing a glass of their cognac now and again.” Kylian commenced to tell us that he has about 32 acres of ugni blanc vines along with a little hay. His father André started distilling in 1971 and Kylian joined him in the eighties. The pot still that they have in town is a well sized 2500 liters. When Kylian does his distillations he does so in its lees, and occasionally he and his wife buy new barrels for the cooper Taransaud. At this point most of their young distillate is sold to Hennessey. The Dixneuf family has an immaculate and very well organized chai. In further conversation, Kylian told us that he and his wife have no children. They see bottling their own Cognac as allowing themselves to have some contact with the outside world. “It can be a solitary life when you are just working your vines and distilling and then selling everything in bulk to a big house,” he confided. “When you’re selling bottles, you have interaction with people, you travel and go to public tastings, customers come to visit and tell stories about your bottles. At times this table is full of people who have come to taste and we pass a fun moment together. That would never happen if I wasn’t selling my cognac in a bottle.”

The Dixneuf have a wide range of releases, most of which far exceed their legal minimums. While their younger expressions were very good, the standout was a Cognac from 1971 distilled by his father André called Extra Vieux. Cognacs from the Fins Bois are normally used in younger blends, and not that many producers have cognacs more than 20 years of age. This inaugural distillation by Andre and his wife Jeannine spent 40+ years in oak. Kylian is currently transferring this distillate into demi-johns at 42% ABV. [We here at D&M have found it quite difficult to find producers in the Fins Bois with older cognacs, so were chuffed to show you how spirits from this cru can age.] As the day was getting long we bought some of the Dixneuf’s Extra Vieux and said our goodbyes. In the end we never did get around to asking why his father Andre and mother Jeannine gave him that most unique name of Kylian. While there is but one person named Kylian Dixneuf in the world, the first name of France’s star football player Mbappe is also Kylian. This ensures that there is a potential pipeline for more Kylians in the years to come. If you find yourself in the Fins Bois, stop in at number 19 by the church.

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