Monday, August 5, 2013


A South African-owned brand has won the title of World’s Best Cognac at one of the most important international competitions for spirits. The Richelieu XO Cognac Fine Champagne was awarded the trophy for World’s Best Cognac at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London, upstaging many of its better-known competitors.  It also earned a Gold Outstanding medal.

Made from Ugni blanc grapes harvested in the Grande and Petite Champagne areas of Cognac, the Richelieu XO Cognac is double-distilled before being matured in French oak for 25 years and longer.

In the same competition, two other brandies in the range, the Richelieu International and the Richelieu 10 Year Old, each received a gold medal. Both brandies are double-distilled in French potstills before maturation in French oak.

As the term cognac can only be used for brandies made from grapes grown and distilled in Cognac, the Richelieu International and Richelieu 10 Year Old are classified as brandies. Further confirming their excellence, the Richelieu International and the Richelieu 10 Year Old also won gold at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).

Last year, the Richelieu International was judged the world's best blended brandy by ISC judges.

The brand's performance so far has been its best yet on the international stage, says Richelieu marketing manager, Jeremy Thompson. "To be so highly rated on such prestigious and influential platforms is a major accomplishment. The trade has been overwhelming in its demand for stock."

He added that Richelieu 10, since its launch last November, had shown very positive growth and news of the awards would strengthen its position in the marketplace.

"Our message to our supporters is: Welcome to the French Evolution!"    

Richelieu XO Cognac sells for around R1 600 per bottle, while the Richelieu International and the Richelieu 10 Year Old, are priced at R 109 and R179 respectively.