Dominique Touteau is Delamain’s cellar master. He sees cognac as a diamond.
If cognac were a mineral, it would be a diamond. A pure and colourless jewel at birth, like the new brandy that flows out of the alembics. It has to sparkle, glow and shine.
But diamonds can also take on different shades including one called cognac—the most precious of brown diamonds. Like rough diamonds that are cut in facets to bring out their brilliance, a task that requires great dexterity and experience, the cellar master blends the eaux-de-vie and ages them to bring out their taste notes. We are always amazed by diamonds as they bring out emotion.
In the same way, cognac brings out olfactory, gustatory and sentimental emotions. But always happy feelings. I have never felt melancholy when tasting my cognacs. Childhood memories come back, my discovery of smells, the build-up of my entire reference system that has continued throughout my career, my whole life.
A natural, innate curiosity that I never noticed until I became a cellar master. As we age the eaux-de-vie that become cognac, we rediscover the whole range of scents stored up in the course of a lifetime.