Pleasure / December 2019

Louis XIII: In Good Time

With a fierce commitment to the philosophy of always thinking a century ahead, Louis XIII is undertaking a bold new project to restore the precious tierçons in which its cognac is aged.

“We are drinking time; time is our raw material,” says Baptiste Loiseau. Throughout the duration of my visit to the estate and cellars of Louis XIII, the head cellar master of the world’s pre-eminent cognac house talks a lot about the concept of time: about preserving the past and paving the way for the future, about history and heritage and cycles of evolution and growth. He has reason for his horological obsession: his job quite literally depends on it. Many of us barely know what tomorrow holds, but Baptiste is already thinking centuries ahead, for the sake of the cognac he has been charged with creating. 

In fact, so long term is the vision of Louis XIII, that Baptiste won’t even be around to experience the results of the decisions he makes today. Just like the cellar masters before him, he is creating blends and setting aside eaux-de-vie (French for ‘water of life’ - the distilled spirit that turns into cognac) as a legacy to his successors in the coming centuries. “When making the selection, you have to have vision,” he says. “And I won’t be the one that will make the final blend with this eaux-de-vie, so I have to pay tribute to what has been done by the previous cellar master and I have to be cautious for the next one to ensure that they have the right eaux-de-vie.”

Contributor

Aobh O'Brien-Moody

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