The landscape has changed when it comes to the exclusivity of luxury brands, and with a label like Rémy Martin, it's easy to become distracted by the hype that rap moguls and film directors shower on the venerable cognac. While the brand caters to an impressive range of clientele, from Charles de Gaulle to Jay-Z, in the end it's the spirit itself that matters. In anticipation of the auction of the three-liter "Le Jeroboam" bottle valued at $26,000, we sat down with the cellar master herself to discuss what makes Louis XIII so special.
Pierrette Trichet is the fourth cellar master in the history of the company, and the first woman to hold the position. With a background in biology and biochemistry, the young Trichet began in the Rémy Martin laboratory, over time learning the difficult task of putting words to aromas. Trichet defines the art of cognac-making as a human science, and recognizes that her well-trained nose is capable of much more than even the most advanced scientific equipment. Creating the blends based on her distinct tastes, she does so with the full confidence of the company, which will occasionally give her blind taste-tests to make sure her palate remains on-point. Louis XIII is the masterful upshot of her unique ability. The special blend is comprised of 1,200 individual eaux-de-vie that are first aged anywhere from 40-100 years and then added to a tiercon that will house the mix for another hundred years—which means Trichet will never taste the matured blend she is currently making.
Up for auction is a crystal decanter numbered 13—a nod to Louis XIII—out of the 100 that were made. The only bottle currently available in the U.S., it's an enlarged version of the brand's classic shape, which was made to replicate a metal gourd found by Rémy Martin's grandson at the site of a 16th-century battlefield. Inside the bottle's limousin oak coffret is a wine master's pipette to simulate the tasting experience, four custom crystal glasses by furniture designer Cristophe Pillet, a book illustrating the Louis XIII legacy and an invitation for the buyer and four guests to attend a tasting at the house of Rémy Martin.