Situated along the banks of France's Charente River, entirely within Cognac's Grande Champagne cru, the 11 hectare Navarre Estate was founded in 1811. Owner Jacky Navarre is a fourth-generation distiller. He works under one simple rule: "Let nature do (most of) the work." Navarre's vineyards are mostly comprised of Ugni Blanc, with about 6% Folle Blanche, 6% Colombard, 32 acres Merlot, and 23 acres Cabernet Franc. Grapes are hand-harvested and immediately fermented and distilled in a 30 hectoliter copper-pot “charentais” still. Navarre uses one hectare out of his 11 for the production of the regional aperitif known as Pineau des Charentes. A mistelle (fortified wine), Pineau des Charentes combines fresh, unfermented grape juice with a Cognac eau-de-vie, and then allows the mixture to mature in barrel.
Navarre's Vieux Blanc release is 100% Ugni Blanc, based on a 6 Year Aged Grande Champagne Cognac. Navarre is the only producer to use a XO Cognac in place of the usual year-old eau de vie. The Cognac is married with Ugni Blanc juice and aged for an astounding 29 Years in cask, far older than the required minimum 12 month (8 in cask, 4 in stainless steel) aging.
Featured in Punch magazines, 2020 edition of Our Favorite Bottles to Give (and Receive)