For a hundred years, Martell Cordon Bleu has distilled into the contents of a glass the infinite richness of a rare cognac of unsurpassed elegance and finesse. When it was created in 1912, Martell Cordon Bleu immediately won recognition the world over. It became the cognac for true connoisseurs, an icon for discerning cognac-lovers. Today, Martell Cordon Bleu celebrates its centenary. To mark the event, Martell has designed a limited edition dedicated to an eternal discovery since 1912.
When Edouard Martell created Martell Cordon Bleu, he resolutely opted for blue as the colour of the House.
In choosing to call it «Cordon Bleu», Edouard Martell boldly gave his cognac a proper name, breaking away from the conventions of the time, which consisted in simply combining the name of the House with the cognac’s quality.
To celebrate its centenary, Martell has dressed up its Cordon Bleu bottle, whose sober and elegant shape remains true to the original and makes it instantly recognisable.
This limited centenary edition is entirely decked in blue and comes with a montre – a miniature bottle traditionally reserved for cellar masters’ tastings. This contains a remarkable selection of old eaux-de-vie specially blended by Martell cellar master Benoît Fil and originating exclusively from the Borderies - the most select cru in the cognac region - conferring on Cordon Bleu its complex, elegant character.
It took two years to craft and perfect Martell Cordon Bleu, a blend of over one hundred carefully selected eaux-de-vie contained in an understated bottle adorned with a label and blue ribbon. The official launch took place in Monte-Carlo in 1912, in the lavish setting of the Hôtel de Paris. Martell Cordon Bleu was born. It was an instant success. From England to Burma, India, Australia and the United States, Martell Cordon Bleu became the reference.
Because connoisseurs wanted to enjoy «their» cognac wherever they were, Martell Cordon Bleu could be found on the Orient Express, in the bars and dining rooms of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, and embarked on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary in May 1936. Pursuing its role as an ambassador of French luxury, Martell Cordon Bleu was served on board the Concorde, from 1975. Martell Cordon Bleu was also served at historic events such the official visit of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II in 1957. And because cognac is emblematic of a certain French art de vivre, Martell encourages and supports artistic projects on a grand scale, such as during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Every drop of Martell Cordon Bleu... Reveals its myriad facets
It is a cognac of matchless elegance and aromatic complexity. Of the six crus in the cognac AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), Martell has selected the four main ones: Grande and Petite Champagne, Fins Bois and Borderies. It is the latter and the smallest – representing just five per cent of the whole Charente vineyard – which is the veritable hallmark of the House cognacs. Its eaux-de-vie are marked by roundness and smoothness, and by floral aromas that evolve over time towards notes of candied fruit and sweet spices. These qualities combine admirably with the strength and structure of the Grande and Petite Champagne eaux-de-vie, and with the fruity lightness of the Fins Bois eaux-de-vie.
Like all the House cognacs, Martell Cordon Bleu derives from expertise which, from production of the wines through ageing to the distilling process, reveals its full promise at the ultimate blending stage. As well as selecting its crus, Martell practices a «double distillation», a process using wines whose lees have been eliminated during vinification and which only uses the very best: the coeur de chauffe. The eaux-de-vie that emerge from the still are kept in old casks of fine-grained oak, where they slowly concentrate their aromas in contact with the wood. After decades spent in the silence of the cellars, they finally emerge to enter the blend of a Martell cognac. Martell Cordon Bleu is the result of a blending process conducted by Edouard Martell and his cellar master, Auguste Chapeau, from 1910 to 1912, resulting in a composition of over one hundred eaux-de-vie, marked by the elegance and finesse of Borderies eaux-de-vie. Cordon Bleu has remained true to the original style ever since.
Martell Cordon Bleu presents a deep, golden copper hue. On the nose, it reveals its vivacious and rich complexity: fruits of the orchard – plum and apple – combine with roasted notes of mocha, grilled almonds and vetiver, and aromas of candied orange, cinnamon, honey and beeswax. In the mouth, Martell Cordon Bleu offers an outstanding round, mellow sensation, amplified by the elegant Borderies eaux-de-vie and a long finish marked by fruity, spicy notes of plum, candied orange and cinnamon.