Every decanter of Louis XIII is the lifetime achievement of generations of cellar masters. Here we present you with part deux of its Time Collection: Tribute to City of Lights 1900, a limited series of decanters commemorating the year it first graced the Paris Exposition
Turn back time to the early 1600s and make your way to France. King Louis XIII, who ruled the country from 1610 to 1643, was in power, but the history books will tell you that he was overshadowed by his son and successor, Louis XIV – the ‘Sun King’, who bestowed upon humanity the Palace of Versailles, and symbolised the French monarchy at the absolute peak of its power. Louis XIII’s reign wasn’t quite as spectacular.
While he isn’t lauded for his kingly contributions, he did have a hand to play in the Cognac of today. He was the first monarch who saw the good in a budding brandy industry, and with his encouragement, brandy in Poitou-Charentes quickly developed into a major industry. The small town of Cognac soon gained recognition for the superior brandies that took its name.
As tribute, his legacy lives on in the world’s most exclusive Cognac: Louis XIII by Rémy Martin. Produced in a high-tech vinification facility at Juillac-Le-Coq, each decanter of Louis XIII is the lifetime achievement of five generations of cellar masters. Everything you’d look for in a great wine – elegance, balance, finesse and harmony – is there in the spirit.
Time is its raw material, and Louis XIII is an effective reminder of the history and decades of sweat and tears that go into it. Having a bottle or two at home is a feather in the cap for the connoisseur, and there are various collectible editions. The Black Pearl AHD, for one, pays tribute to former chairman André Hériard-Dubreuil, while the Le Mathusalem – a giant crystal decanter carrying six litres worth of Cognac – is something to bring to the table (as long as the right kind of people are seated around it).
Most recent of all is part two of the Time Collection, a biennial series of exclusive, limited editions celebrating the history of Louis XIII. Following The Origin 1874, the House pays homage to a pivotal moment in time with, Tribute to City of Lights 1900 – the year in which Louis XIII received the highest praise at the Paris Exposition, a global fair of engineering feats and artistic triumphs. The unveiling of a Louis XIII had given the world its first taste of an ultra-premium Cognac, and the 20th century was off to a great start. 1929 saw it board the Orient Express; in 1935, it celebrated the royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Versailles; and in 1984, it went supersonic, via the Concorde.
The Louis XIII Time Collection: Tribute to City of Lights 1900, is limited to only 2,000 numbered decanters worldwide. Inspired by a 16th-century flask unearthed from the site of the Battle of Jarnac (1569), each crystal decanter is handmade by the Cristallerie of Saint-Louis and features 13 dentelle spikes instead of the usual 10. You will also find seven fleurs-de-lys in 18-carat gold with a medallion at the centre, and to top it off, a limited-edition stopper shaped like an upturned decanter.
But as much as Louis XIII has been helping to restore the past, it also wants to look forward. The stopper is smartly equipped with NFC technology that ensures its authenticity and gives you access to the Louis XIII Society – a private club in which members can enjoy exclusive content, unique experiences and personalised services. That means customised engraving, getting a heads-up on any pre-released limited editions, engaging a Louis XIII Personal Advisor for a private tasting, and the chance to rub shoulders with Cognac connoisseurs from around the world.
Remove the seal and scan the stopper with your smartphone. Your decanter number will be automatically registered, and a specially commissioned medal minted by the Monnaie de Paris – the world’s oldest coinage institution – will be delivered to you. And if you’re lucky enough to receive this as a gift, you might be surprised with a personal message once the scanning has taken place.
If not; you may just have to go out and get your own. But do hurry, because as everyone knows; time is of the essence.
Yours for S$10,600. The Louis XIII Time Collection: Tribute to City of Lights 1900, is available at Changi Airport or via direct sales at the House. Simply drop private client director, Morgan de Premorel, a line at, [email protected].