To mark its 10th anniversary, artisanal distillery Bass & Flinders Distillery is launching a limited-edition French-Australian brandy blend, in collaboration with renowned French Cognac house Normandin-Mercier.
Described as old-world tradition meets new world Australian creativity, ‘Anniversary Cuvée’ will be a specially curated blend of Bass & Flinders Chardonnay-based brandy with Normandin-Mercier Petite Champagne cognac.
The 330-bottle, single-release will be the world’s first French-Australian brandy blend.
Bass & Flinders Managing Director and second-generation Head Distiller Holly Klintworth has been working side-by-side with fifth-generation Normandin-Mercier Cellar Master Edouard Normandin to bring this creation to life.
The collaboration came to fruition after the pair connected in 2017 during a research visit to Cognac to explore the Charentaise distillation method (the method of producing grape based eau de vie through double distillation using an alembic pot still and open flame) – a technique that has inspired Bass & Flinders’ distillation process since its inception in 2009.
“As we approached the 10-year mark, I felt we had to do something special to commemorate the milestone, and what better way than with an exciting, limited-edition release like no other, an ‘old-world meets new’ brandy that encapsulates Bass & Flinders’ story and ethos,” Klintworth said.
“I knew with Edouard’s family lineage, recognised as one of the most highly regarded cognac specialists in the region, that he would be the perfect craftsman to assist me executing my idea for this brandy blend, that honours the two worlds and family traditions.”
Both distilleries have the same philosophy: nothing artificial, small volume and high quality – making the collaboration a match made in heaven. Usually, when blending, a distiller will reference from past blends and batches to draw inspiration from, but in this instance, they were working from a blank canvas and an idea.
Before the two set to work, they established a few goals: the product would represent both styles equally, would only use natural elements (nothing artificial) and would achieve a full and broad reaching aroma.
“We went through barrel after barrel to nose each and every character and layer until we found some common threads that we felt would marry nicely in the collaborative blend, before settling on 2014 Petite Champagne cognac,” Klintworth said.
“It’s not too heavily oaked and will let the B&F brandy character and fruitiness shine through on the nose but has a floral bouquet that adds a unique accent to the blend,” Normandin added.
Anniversary Cuvée is retailing for $250 for the 700ml bottles in market and will be available for purchase on the Bass & Flinders Distillery website.