Friday, March 6, 2020

Cognac Review: Park Extra

And finally we come to the fancy decanter. Which I don't have. This is also one of the few releases in their core lineup that is entirely from one cru rather than being a blend of several.

This expression uses grapes from Grande Champagne, filled into 350 L fresh lightly toasted barrels for twelve months, transferred to used casks, then blended and bottled at 40%, probably with various adjustments and chill filtration. The L13 bottling code on the neck makes me assume that this was put together in 2013, which would be consistent with how slowly specialty bottles move in Oregon.

Cognac Park Extra

Nose: very oak-driven with a balance between fresher and more polished notes, maple syrup, grape and berries in the background, creamy vanilla, mushrooms, charred meat, floral notes, citrus peel, and a touch of tropical fruit. After adding a few drops of water the fruit is amplified and becomes stronger, pushing back on the oak.

Taste: grape sweetness up front, quickly joined by moderately tannic oak, creaminess with a tinge of vanilla, and citric top notes, followed by an oak-y bittersweet fade out with some marshmallow and chocolate. After dilution the fruit up front is brighter and more syrupy, a bit of chocolate comes out around the middle, while the oak becomes mellower and less tannic, the citrus at the back turns into pith and the oak there becomes toasted/charred.

Finish:grape residue, polished oak, lemon/grapefruit peel

This is a return to something closer to the XO Traditional with big oak-driven aromas and flavors right off the bat. With time the aromas unwind and become far more complex, but I never got that from either the flavors or the finish. Given the stratospheric price point on this expression (gotta pay for that fancy packaging!), I would give it a miss.

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