|- Remy Martin "Louis XIII" Grande Champagne Cognac -
The greatest of all prestige cuvees.
1950's and earlier bottlings, some containing cognacs from the pre-phylloxera era.
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Pre-Baccarat era - Mid 1930's and earlier:
This is an exceptionally early bottle, believed to date from prior to the 1920's. The decanter is manufactured at St Louis, and
the replacemrnt stopper has a cork base, rather than being all glass as is the case with later bottlings.
Early Baccarat era - Late 1930's and 40's:
This bottle was made just after 1937, but before 1940, when production ceased due to the war. "Made in France by
Baccarat" is engraved on the base, but their is no Baccarat logo.
Mid Baccarat era - 1950's and 60's:
This bottle has a certificate attesting to it's presence at the royal banquets of 1938 and 1957. The Baccarat logo appears on
Many so-called "ultra premium" cognacs are of little interest to serious collectors, being in the
main overpriced and over-packaged assemblages of eaux de vie created to fulfill the demand for
corporate gifts, or nightclub high-rollers. Generally these are created from a combination of the
house's own reserve stocks, and other eaux de vie purchased from wholesalers such as
Tesseron. Usually they are made in very small quantities - indeed sometimes only in a one-off
run. As fashions and the fickle tastes of the drinking public change, so do these cognacs, with
brands appearing and disappearing over the years.
Remy Martin's "Louis XIII" however is different however, and occupies a unique place in the
world of cognac, for several reasons:
It is made in relatively large volumes - the exact figures are a closely held secret, but certainly
several thousand cases a year are produced.
It has been produced more or less continually in the same distinctive bottle for over 130 years,
ALL the cognacs that go into the Louis XIII blend are from Remy Martin's own stocks, and they
are specifically selected for this purpose NOT after decades of ageing as one might expect , but
as young brandies, right at the beginning of their life, shortly after distillation. No bought-in eaux
de vie are used, nor any that were not originally chosen for the blend. More than a million litres
of cognac especially set aside for Louis XIII are ageing in Remy Martin's cellars at any one time.
The final product is a blend of up to 1200 different eaux-de-vie aged between 40 and 100 years
old. In the last 75 years Remy Martin has had just three maitres de chai responsible for blending
the final cuvee, so the current bottling is in effect a collaboration between three generations of
cellarmasters. The current cellarmaster, Pierrette Trichet - the only female "master blender" at a
major cognac firm - works with casks selected by her predecessors, and in return selects young
brandies that will only be blended and bottled decades after she has retired. Every year, around
3% of the cognac stored in cask evaporates, over time a staggering loss - for every litre of spirit
originally put in cask, only 33cl - a third - survives to eventually be bottled.
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The original concept dates back to June 13th, 1874, when Paul-Emile Remy Martin officially registered the brand under the
name of "Louis XIII Tres Grande Champagne - Age Unknown". The name was based on the fact that the family had bought
its first vineyards during the reign of Louis XIII - ie between 1613 and 1638.
Paul-Emile Remy Martin was also responsible for the remarkable and distinctive bottle, emblazoned with a fleur de lis and
with spiky the town of Cognac. Since 1937 the decanters have been exclusively made in crystal by Baccarat (each is thus
signed on the base). Prior to this they were made at the equally famous St Louis glassworks.
Louis XIII has been a favorite of politicians and heads of state almost since its inception. Queen Elizabeth II was served
Louis XIII at Versailles at a dinner in honour of her 1957 visit to France, as her father, George VI had been on a similar visit
in 1938, and Winston Churchill famously celebrated his election victory with it in 1951.
In recent years Remy Martin has released two special editions of Louis XIII - the "Black Pearl" and the "Rare Cask". Although
vastly more expensive than the (already expensive) regular version, neither is a superior cognac. Our information, directly
sourced from Remy Martin, is that the Black Pearl is EXACTLY the same cognac as the regular Louis XIII, simply contained in a
limited release bottle. The "Rare Cask" edition is a bottling of a single barrel of the final Louis XIII blend, so it has slight
differences from the usual version - whether it's "better" or just fractionally different is really though a matter of personal
We are always buyers for early bottles of Louis XIII, please email us if you have one to sell.
Below are samples of Louis XIII from three different eras: