|Absinthe Pernod Fils "Garanti Fabriqué en 1913"
This is the classic "benchmark" Pernod Fils with the labels overprinted "Fabriqué en 1913"
(made in 1913). This is a very rare bottling - these bottles were the very last stock produced
by Pernod before the ban in 1914. They were sent to Holland for safekeeping and a small
quantity were released 25 years later for export in 1938 with this special overprinted label.
The balance of the stocks was unfortunately destroyed by bombing during the war. Photos
show the bottle still covered in the original cellar dust!
|Clos de Griffier Champagne Cognac 1738
The Oldest Known Cognac
The earliest recorded surviving intact cognac bottle
|Very early three part blown-in-the-mould dark olive glass bottle, most likely dating from 1830-1840.
Considerable crudity in the glass with two large bubbles apparent, one visible in the photographs below.
Applied glass seal on the shoulder, reading: CLOS DE GRIFFIER CHAMPAGNE COGNAC DE 1738.
Apparently original 19th century cork, no sign of recorking. Cracked pale-mustard coloured wax. Ullage at
lower shoulder, where one would expect for a 170 year old cork. No visible indication of seepage at all.
Contents are clear and bright.
This cognac would have spent the first 10 to 30 years of its life in cask, and would then likely have been stored in demijohns
until bottling at the time of its first centenary in the 1830’s.
This bottle was removed from the cellars of the famed Parisian restaurant Lucas Carton in 1985. Located on the Place de
Madelaine, Lucas Carton was founded in 1732 by Robert Lucas as a “Taverne anglaise”, specializing in cold meats and puddings.
In 1890 it was purchased by Scaliet, who in 1904-1905 created its extraordinary Art Nouveau interior after designs of Louis
Majorelle and Etinne de Gounevitch. In 1925 Francis Carton, a restauranteur who had won renown at the Café Anglais, bought
the restaurant recognized at that time as "Lucas" and attached his own name to it. Carton redesigned the entrance to include a
revolving door, which he framed with an art deco grid topped by half-moon canopy designed to diffuse an indirect light. On the
first floor, he added seven small rooms accessible by a door from a passageway of the Madeleine. Many politicians met in that
area of the restaurant. Chef Marc
Soustel established the culinary reputation of Lucas Carton and eventually came to own it in 1945. His daughter inherited the
restaurant in 1982. In 1985 it was purchased by the well known and sometimes controversial chef Alain Senderens, one of the
leading lights of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement. Senderens surrendered the restaurants Michelin stars and re-opened it under
the name “Senderens” as a very high end bistrot, serving lighter, less formal food. As part of this process, the legendary
winelist of the restaurant was drastically simplified, and many of the rarest bottles from its famed cellars sold off – including this
remarkable bottle of cognac.
This bottle is undoubtedly from the same original source as the 1788 Cafe Anglais bottle (see below), and no doubt entered the
cellars of Lucas Carton during the period of ownership of Francis Carton, who was linked to both establishments.
To the very best of my knowledge, this is, by some distance, the oldest intact original cognac bottle in existence, certainly the
oldest in private hands. The 1788 Clos de Griffier shown at the bottom of this page was widely referred to as the oldest known
cognac at the time of its sale in December 2009. The only claimed earlier bottle is a 1770 acquired by the Lanesborough Hotel
during Salvatore Calabrese’s time there, although this bottle seems to have been dated by cellar records alone, it has no label or
dated seal on the bottle. The “Old Liquors” collection refers to a date of 1748, but the oldest bottle actually shown is a Remy
There appears to be absolutely no record or even oblique reference anywhere to a cognac dated earlier than 1748, so this
unique bottle, nearly THREE CENTURIES OLD, has a very strong claim to be regarded as “The Oldest Cognac in Existence”.
|Vieux Cognac Clos de Griffier 1788, with the label of the Café Anglais
From the cellars of the famed Tour d'Argent restaurant in Paris.
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