Sunday, May 6, 2018

Levon Le Magnifique, X.O. Cognac
This is an interesting story. Levon Le Magnifique was inspired by Armenian viticulture. Armenia has an incredibly rich history in wines and also in eau de vie. As a tribute, to highlight this history this small-batch cognac, Levon Le Magnifique, is named after one of Armenia's greatest figures, King Levon I, who was also known as Levon the Magnificent.

The name was not random, by encouraging extensive exchanges between Armenia and the powerful leaders of Europe, King Levon, for a time, bridged the gap between East and West.

Why not celebrate diplomacy with Cognac?

Levon Le Magnifique is a 'Fine Champagne' Cognac. That means at least 50% of the eau de vie in the blend is Grande Champagne, with the rest being made up of Petit Champagne.
The minimum age for an X.O. is 10 years (as of last month official deadline), but we know there are over 100 Eau de vies in this blend and the age range can be from 10 to infinity.

Upon opening, pear drops and raspberry hard candy pop as soon as you pull the cork. Speaking of "pop's", pop rocks. Wow.
The first nosing is tightly figured spices up against these fruit candies, with flowers, hints of polished leather and cut wood.
*To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed by these scents. I spent a long  *time sniffing and examining. The aromas evolved and changed  *completely over a long period. This is why I cannot stress giving any  *true tasting experience time (and preferably multiple times).
After a LONG TIME, the scents opened up to baked pears dusted with cinnamon & allspice, a variety of berries, varnish, some vanilla, and peaches stewed in honey, with a myriad of complex spices and flowers.
The flavors do a similar dance, but more subtle. The fruit candy is throughout, but the nuanced complexity of the aromas playfully appear throughout the tasting experience with the floral characteristics showing gracefully.
The finish is sweet, brisk and clean, with an aftertaste the smacks of the hard candies for a bit.
Overall this is a fun and playful XO with a depth that doesn't disappoint, especially if you are a fan of fruitier cognacs.
Normally, I don't speak of packaging, but this is definitely classy higher end presentation, certainly no fun to pour, but nice to show-off. For this bottle shape, pour sideways, I like to hold from the bottom. It is heavy, and this gives me better balance. And for the win, Label up!

The V.S.O.P. is coming up and oh my goodness!

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