Park VSOP Cognac (750ml) (Elsewhere $50)
Following a decade working in the London wine trade for Corney & Barrow, Berry Bros. & Rudd, and then his own business, Dominic Park decided in the early 1990s to move to France and create a new Cognac house. Maison Cognac Park was born to make straightforward, unadulterated Cognacs presented in simple packaging. In essence, the idea was to offer an alternative to the stereotype of over-caramelized brown Cognacs sold in flamboyant crystal decanters or frosted glass bottles. It was a fortunate period to enter the Cognac market when prices of eaux-de-vie were at their lowest. Dominic started by acquiring a bedrock of unblended spirits aged between two and 60 years in Tronçais oak casks. He housed these eaux-de-vie in cellars on the banks of the River Charente, on the outskirts of the town of Cognac, where the 80% relative humidity is ideal for storage. The V.S.O.P has rich and nutty flavors that stay in the mouth, with a certain amount of wood. Round and easy to drink. The secret behind this blend is the large number and the regional variety of eaux-de-vie in the blend, including the nuttiness of good Borderies. Average age 10-20 years.