As I was sipping on a Macallan 1989 last week, enjoying the deep golden nectar, I was reminded of the premier dinner with Louis XIII, the cognac, at The Oberoi, Gurgaon. It was the launch of the Rare Cask earlier in the week, where select guests from 17 countries had gathered in Udaipur, to celebrate the global launch of Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6—only the second such cask to join the Rare Cask collection. Pierrette Trichet, gifted cellar master of the House of Rémy Martin, and her deputy cellar master Baptiste Loiseau revealed the Rare Cask of Louis XIII that nature has endowed with an excellence that is all its own.
The Delhi dinner was going to witness the presence of Augustin Depardon, global brand director of Louis XIII, Loiseau and Damien Lafaurie, executive vice president Global Markets Remy Cointreaua, among others.
A Rare Cask is a single, extremely rare barrel, discovered among the hundreds of centuries-old tierçons that will one day go to make Louis XIII. No two tierçons are ever quite the same size, and this Rare Cask is one of the smaller ones—sufficient for just 738 decanters, distinguished by a small but significant increase in alcohol, beyond the expected 40 per cent. This new Rare Cask expression takes its title from its unique alcohol degree of 42,6.
Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 celebrates the classic Louis XIII blend of 1,200 eau-de-vies, 100 years in the making, featuring salient aromas that are unique to this one precious cask.
The dinner was aptly paired by chefs from The Oberoi, Gurgaon. The first course comprised champagne with appetisers like Grilled Indian Ocean Prawns, grapefruit, avocado and edamame, and Champagne Emulsion. Vegetarians were seen enjoying warm chèvre with palm hearts and pecan nuts, asparagus and tomato with hazelnut vinaigrette. It was a polite beginning that opened on a gentle note. There was a brief introduction to Louis XIII and a short video showed the process. The main course was more robust and was accompanied by red and white wine. We addressed the tandoori rack of New Zealand lamb, braised in cumin, bacon roast, new potatoes, sautéed girolle and pomegranate tomato juice. The vegetarians had a single choice with rotolo of baby spinach walnuts and ricotta, nutmeg and pumpkin confit and smoked pepper coulis. Another main course of mint, cardamom and ginger marinated charcoal grilled spring chicken with coriander green chilli fettuccini, saffron prune sauce was also on offer.
All decanters will be serial numbered from 001 to 738, available from Louis XIII certified retailers, best palaces, hotels and restaurants (Louis XIII Fortress network). Suggested retail price, €18,000.