This XO cognac is the fruit of long ageing in dry cellars, which gives it a subtle, complex, refined, long-lasting bouquet consisting of candied fruit aromas (dried apricot, dried fig), marzipan, hazelnut, nougat, then port notes and finally the famous ‘rancio’ character. Balanced, rich and complex on the palate with aromas of dried fruits and candied fruits and an exceptionally long finish. Add a drop of water to Château Fontpinot XO to let the aromas breathe and soften the power of the cognac.
'Wheat-field gold color; pristine purity. Smells of dried fruits up front, in particular, white raisins, yellow plum, and pineapple; after more contact, the fragrance turns a bit more toasty/roasted and orange marmalade–like. Entry features a foundational flavor of ripe white grapes, fresh honey, and oak resin; the midpalate stage features an extended, satiny, honey-sweet taste, as well as a keen astringency that maintains this cognac’s vivid freshness. Ends roasted, bittersweet, and mildly spiced (clove, cinnamon). Still, in my view, one of the finest Grande Champagne cognacs money could buy.’ 2019 Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆/Highest Recommendation, F. Paul Pacult, The New Kindred Spirits, August 2021.
'One of my favorite XOs, aged for 20 years in Frapin’s dry cellars, to highlight finesse and elegance. Made exclusively from grapes harvested around Frapin’s Fontpinot castle, in Segonzac, the heart of Grande Champagne. Copper-orange in color. The nose is alive with fresh flowers and mint, along with richer aromas of dried apricot, pastry dough and a hint of rancio. The freshness carries onto the palate, where there’s great linear structure, nuttiness and attractive acidity, and the surprisingly intense grilled walnut finish. This is a lively, drinkable style of XO that offers excellent value. (40% abv).’ 96 points, Jason Wilson, Vinous, September 2019.
Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2019 US - 95/100 'Extraordinary'
The Cognac Masters 2019 UK - Master
San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2019 US - Gold Medal
International Spirits Challenge 2018 UK - Trophy, Best XO / Gold Medal
ISW 2018 Germany - Trophy, Best Cognac
The Cognac Masters 2018 UK - Master
World cognac awards 2017 UK - Gold Medal
'Few houses in Cognac have the hallowed history of Frapin, still owned by the original family, who can trace their winegrowing and distilling back to 1270 (the current CEO is the 21st generation). Consider: The family’s coat of arms was bestowed by Louis XIV; the quill logo was designed in honor of famed author François Rabelais, whose mother was a Frapin; Gustave Eiffel constructed the building where the blending is carried out. On a tour, as we passed some cobwebbed old demijohns, I was casually told, ‘Here is the harvest of 1870.’ Jason Wilson, Vinous, September 2019.
Frapin is located in the centre of the Grande Champagne, Premier Cru du Cognac region in the sleepy little town of Segonzac, the finest designated region in Cognac. It is the only merchant located in the town and only sells Cognacs produced from grapes sourced from its own 240ha estate in the heart of the Grande Champagne region. The Frapin family have been wine growers since 1270, but until the 1980s the family’s primary business was as a distiller and supplier of mature Cognacs to Remy Martin, Hennessy and Courvoisier.
In 1984 the Cointreau family (direct descendants of the Frapins) ascended to the management of the company with Beatrice Cointreau at the helm. Since then Cognac Frapin has been re-invigorated and re-positioned as a producer of the very finest Cognacs in its own right, marketed under its own name.
At Frapin all the fruit for the Cognacs is grown on the estate and is usually harvested 2-3 degrees riper than the regional norm to bring extra flavour to the base wine. Distillation always takes place with the lees from fermentation, adding texture and length as well as extra dimensions of flavour complexity. The young Cognacs are aged for a good 2 years or more in new Limousin oak (much more than is typical), before being transferred to older barrels for the long haul. And whilst the average stockholding in the Cognac region is just on 7 years, Frapin currently holds 16 years in stock, highlighting the extra complexity that age brings to its range of Cognacs.
The ageing of the Cognacs at Frapin is further distinguished, with maturation taking place in one of two distinctly different environments. Long ageing in the humid cellars underground makes for a rich and powerful style, whereas the drier attics emphasise fruit and bring a finer and more elegant finish to the Cognac.