LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 Remy Martin Cognac

Cape Town - Four bottles of the most expensive cognac in the world have gone on sale in South Africa.

One has already been snapped up by an anonymous private collector, leaving three of Remy Martin’s deluxe Louise XIII Rare Cask 42.6 Cognac up for grabs by wealthy enthusiasts - at R300 000 a pop.

South Africa is the only African country to be offered the cognac for sale – “in keeping with the brand’s strategy to engage high-end consumers who are seeking more premium drinking experiences”, according to a press release.

Only 738 bottles were produced from the single cask, which was identified by Cellar Master Pierette Trichet to have a “deeper, more complex flavour, which set it apart from the rest”.

Louis XIII Cognac usually goes for R40 000 a bottle, but the Rare Cask fetching R300 000 is a natural anomaly, according to brand manager Philip Voget.

“No two rare casks are the same. At the heart of the composition are the classic Louis XIII flavours of dried fruits and nuts. Rare Cask 42.6 has notes of date and plum, as well as gingerbread, prune stone and tobacco leaf.”

Cognac is a type of brandy named after the region of France in which it is produced.

The House of Remy Martin was founded in 1720, and produced its first Louis XIII in 1874.

The brand is so named in honour of King Louis XIII, the first monarch to recognise cognac as a separate category of alcohol.

The cognac is made from Grande Champagne grapes grown in chalk-rich ground and harvested when they reach aromatic maturity. After distilling, it is put to rest in oak casks for 40 years.

The bottles themselves are a work of art crafted by legendary French glassmaker Baccarat.

Each opaque black crystal decanter is shaped by 20 master craftsmen working to complete 50 different processes on the fine glass.

The design also involved an engraved ring of 22-carat rose gold around the neck.

The bottle comes in a forged metal strongbox with a fleur-de-lis motif.

Cape Argus

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