Laurent Cazottes Prunelard Eau de Vie 375ml (Previously $80)
Laurent Cazottes is considered the king of artisan distillation in France when it comes to eau de vie and liqueurs. Every part of the production process is focused on quality. His fruits are grown biodynamically, they're all hand-picked, they only use the finest parts of the fruit, and their products maintain more freshness and purity than perhaps any other producer in the business. For this reason they are not inexpensive. They are proudly displayed on the menus of the finest restaurants in France and have become almost mythical in their status. When our pal Nicolas Palazzi decided to be the American importer for Cazottes, he was in a bit of a pickle. On one hand he had the chance to represent one of his true heroes for artisan spirits. On the other hand, the Cazottes products are nearly triple the price of their American counterparts. Always up for a challenge, Nicolas decided to make it his duty to spread the word. We tasted with him. We instantly became believers along side him. The Prunelard eau de vie is breathtakingly pure. It's delicate and nuanced in a way that almost seems impossible with more funky and herbacious notes, yet total elegance. Whether that's worth the price of admission will eventually be up to the consumer, but there's no arguing that these spirits are in a class to themselves.