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February 15, 2024

Martell Releases World’s Most Expensive Cognac

The debut release in the new Les Remarquables de Martell collection is valued at €1m ($1.07m).

By Kim Ayling

Cementing its status as one of, if not the, most prestigious Cognac houses, Maison Martell has announced the launch of Les Remarquables de Martell collection – an annual release of a single, one-of-a-kind dame-jeanne, the first of which has gone down in as the most expensive cognac in the world.

The first release in this new collection is a blend of two 70-year-old eaux-de-vie (young, clear brandies), with a valuation of €1m ($1.07m). Individually selected by Martell cellar master, Christophe Valtaud, both liquids eaux-de-vie were sourced from Grand Champagne – of the Maison’s most exceptional cru – and aged in the prestigious Port du Lys cellar.

Rather than selecting one particular vintage, Valtaud opted for two singular expressions in order to create a truly one-in-a-lifetime blend. Each brings a particular characteristic of the Maison. The first spent longer aging in oak, resulting in a more powerful flavor; the second is fresher, with lighter notes of honey and blossom.

[See also: Perrier-Jouët Reveals $100,000 Edition of its 2008 Vintage]

Martell Releases World’s Most Expensive Cognac
Laurentine Perilhou has created a one-off case for the cognac / ©Martell

For each never-to-be-repeated Les Remarquables de Martell release, the Maison will partner with a different artist to create the decanter. For this first release, Maison Martell has sought the skills of French artist Laurentine Perilhou – a specialist in the art of macramé. 

Following visits to the vineyards, cellars and archives, Perilhou has taken inspiration from Martell’s rich history and the natural world it relies on to craft the completely unique dame-jeanne. Using just her hands as tools, Perilhou worked with gold thread – produced by the last manufacturer of its kind in Lyon – and crafted it into a sublime decorative piece that wraps around the glass bottle.

Adorned with three synthetic sapphires and a single diamond set in 22-karat gold, the dame-jeanne evokes the vines themselves with intricate tendrils reminiscent of roots leading up to an explosion of leaves reaching up from the bottle’s neck. Perilhou collaborated with two other artisans – a jeweler and cabinet maker – and poured over 800 hours into bringing the piece to life.

[See also: The Whisky Exchange Cabinet Announces Glenlivet Drop]

Les Remarquables de Martell  cognac
The dame-jeanne evokes the vines themselves with intricate tendrils reminiscent of roots leading to an explosion of leaves / ©Martell

As well as the cognac itself and the special decanter, the sole purchaser of the first release will gain access to a host of bespoke experiences and accessories. First is the chance to personalize the liquid itself – a scarce rarity in the spirits industry – during a special tasting with Valtaud himself, when they will be invited to add one or more rare eaux-de-vie to the blend.

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The client (and three guests of their choosing) will also be hosted in both Paris and Cognac by Maison Martell for a series of private experiences across the two locations, each offering in-depth explorations into the worlds of art and cognac.

And finally, the one buyer of the world’s most expensive cognac will also receive a specially designed cabinet to display the one-off bottle. Designed for an elevated cognac tasting, the cabinet includes six Baccarat crystal glasses, a drawing pipette (also embellished by Perilhou to match the dame-jeanne), and a pair of embroidered white gloves.

[See also: The Most Expensive Whisky Ever Sold at Auction]

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