Germain Robin Single Barrel Brandy Pinot Noir 19 Year Old
“It’s the best I’ve ever seen,” remarked Hubert Germain-Robin after tasting the first run of California Pinot Noir brandy that he and Ansley Coale distilled in 1983. Their decision to distill California Pinot Noir would change the face of brandy making forever. Double distilled in Prulho Charentais pot stills in 2001 and aged 19 years in heirloom Limousin Oak barrels, this single barrel brandy made from Anderson Valley, Mendocino California grown Pinot Noir grapes was chosen for its exceptional character, paying homage to our founders’ contribution to brandy making.
Germain Robin Single Barrel Pinot Noir 19 year old brandy captures the fruit character of the Pinot Noir grape on both the nose and the palate. Aromas of barrel spice give way to dried cherry and apricot, with a layer of tobacco, and hints of coffee. On the palate there’s weight, boldness, and depth. Beyond fruit are earthy flavors of oak and a touch of leather that instantly give way to a bright red cherry finish.
The Germain-Robin story dates back to 1981 when Ansley Coale, a retired professor from UC Berkeley, picked up a hitchhiking Frenchman, Hubert Germain-Robin, along a Northern California highway. This serendipitous meeting has produced one of the world's finest and most underappreciated spirits categories--premium California brandy. Hubert's family had been producing Cognac since the 1700s, and the two concocted a plan to produce brandy from California's world class wines, utilizing grape varietals no one had ever distilled before. They procured an old still from a closed Cognac distillery and set up shop on Coale's Ukiah, CA ranch.
Their unique distillates, particularly Pinot Noir, have set the standard for California brandy and won worldwide accolades as some of the finest brandy available anywhere, Cognac included. In 2017, the brand and its decades of brandy stocks dating back to 1983 were sold to Gallo. The powerful combination of Hubert (still working on the project with Gallo) and Gallo's unique expertise and vast resources have provided a big step forward in bringing CA brandy to the forefront of the world's best spirits.
With a minimum age statement of 7 years, but the bulk of the blend being 20 years old, the current flagship California Alembic Brandy all comes from before the Gallo acquisition. Key blend legs in the current bottling include Colombard from 1997-2001, Viognier from 2001-2007, and Riesling from 1998.
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A wine list from Flask published in the early 1970s
Driving down Ventura Blvd in Studio City in the 1960’s has something in common with today, Flask Fine Wine & Whisky- Flask first opened its doors to the public in 1962. Decades later and it still remains a respected fixture in the Los Angeles community.
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