Purple Palate Blog

Cognac and Production

Cognac Production   Regions   Cognac region is North of Bordeaux, and comprises of 6 winegrowing areas or crus, all Designation of Origin (DO) Cognac, for the production of the Grape based spirit (brandy) called Cognac. They include Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderises, Bon Bois, Bois Ordinaries and Fin Bois Generally accepted the best of grapes grown for Cognac in these regions is from the 2 Champagne regions and the Borderies region. With only 13% of the production from Bois Ordinaries and Bon Bois. Historically due to the coastal proximity, the region became famous for their brandy production, as it […]

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Louis the 13th Cognac-1 only available $3000

Hi All, Just letting you know that we have 1 bottle of Louis the 13th Cognac available, it’s a a bargain at $3000.00 First created in 1874, LOUIS XIII Cognac is an exquisite blend of up to 1,200 grapes eaux-de-vie sourced 100% from Grande Champagne, the first cru of the Cognac region. Each eau-de-vie is matured slowly inside oak cask. The embodiment of an ancestral savoir-faire, LOUIS XIII Cognac has been watched over by generations of Cellar Masters since its origins. Each Cellar Master selects and sets aside for his successors the oldest and greatest eaux-de-vie from LOUIS XIII cellars, […]

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The Column Still=Coffey Still, Patent Still and Continuous Still-innovations in distillation

Distillation is the process of physically separating/purifying component products from a liquid mixture by the use of evaporation and steam. The process was (probably) first discovered by the Greeks, creating flammable, intoxicant substances from wine (fermented grapes). It travelled throughout the known world through travels of monks (carrying alcohol medicines(tinctures)) and the invasion of Europe by the Moors (Ottoman empire). The first stills were Pot Stills, which was a large single chambered Pot that boiled the fermented mixture(mash, wort etc) separating the components at different volatility (boiling points). These liquids become gases and rise to the top of the still, […]

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Irish Whiskey-A turning of the tide.

Currently I am studying WSET4, and the notes, and history of Irish Whiskey is one of a vibrant and strong industry, well supported and loved, then a massive crash all but deleting the industry. To give you an idea, a very brief overview of the history of Irish Whiskey. 1200s Irish monks bring the distillation process (including tincturing, and steeping) to Ireland. 1405 Recipes were handed down orally, rather then written. so first written in 1405 with the death of a landed man from a “surfeit of Acqua Vitae” , with the Latin “Acqua Vitae” in Gallic being “uisce beatha”, […]

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Oloroso-Oxidative handled Sherry.

Oloroso is a Sherry style made in the DO (Denominazian of Origin) of Spain, particularly Jerez-Xerxes, and Sanluca de Barrameda. Oloroso literally means Ordorous or Scented.  Rightly too. Where Fino style sherries, are biologically aged under a covering of flor (yeasts-mainly Saccharomyces), Oloroso has no biological aging after initial full fermentation, but the flor dies off when fortified to the 17.5% alcohol. It instead undergoes Oxidative aging in old barrels or Butts, to produce a Dry style, Pale to Medium tawny looking wine that has medium noses of coffee, nuts, almond meal and tobacco.  With a Palate of Dry, very low […]

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Sherry Industry- A study of stubborness

“Can I get a bottle of Sherry for cooking?” That is the main question I receive regularly, and it shows to me that the industry is waning rapidly. Firstly I’ll talk about Sherry the Spanish Jerez-Xerxes DO and Sanlucar de Barrmenda Manzanilla DOs. Sherry as a category has dropped from the high of 1979, where it exported 1.5million hectolitres and has been in steady decline to recent years.  As example of this decline 2010 465000 hl with a drop of 20% in 2014 to 364000 hL. Reasons for this decline are many. Complacency was a big factor, with too many […]

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Fortified Wines

Fortified wines are classed by the EU as “Liqueurs”, and generally range from 15% to 22% ABV. They are called so because of the use of a fortifying spirit.  This spirit is usually grape based but has been known to be grain and even coal spirit. In broad strokes historically there are 4 general distinctions in the category. VDN, or Vin Doux Naturale, which are essentially Must (wine grape juice), that has undergone little to no fermentation and is fortified to 17-20% ABV.  Very sweet, very alcoholic, very little tannin, and may have slight oxidised characters if Maderized. In the […]

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Grain Spirits-Vodka-

Grain Spirits.   Generally grain spirits are broken into 2 distinct categories: Vodka, a highly rectified, unaged spirit (which must be distilled to 96%ABV) And Whisk(e)y:, a grain spirit which has a lower distillate (around 64-68%) and aged for (normally) 3 years in wood(usually oak).   Both are made all around the world, in just about all countries.   Vodka   Any and all agricultural materials can be used to produce vodka, including but not limited to grains, potatoes, molasses, maize, barley, wheat, grapes etc. To hydrolyse starches (allow them to become soluble in water), for products like potatoes, they […]

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“That’s seems really cheap/expensive.”-Halo effect on Wine, Spirits and Beer

In the world of marketing and retailing, there is a term that evokes fury and favour in many wine/spirits/beer producers and customers/retailer. It is the Halo effect. A quick explanation is this. halo effect noun noun: halo effect; plural noun: halo effects the tendency for an impression created in one area/product to influence opinion in another area/product. A good use of the halo effect is in brewing, with a good brewer making a name for itself on a great beer it has produced, then getting the rest of it’s range in on the back of it.  Stone and Wood’s Pacific […]

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Sin of the Mermaid Rose

Made by the guys at Pirate Cru Wines-Jennifer and Dirk, the team that also brings you: Dante Gabriel, William Hunt, John Millais, and the Ford Maddox Brown Slurpy Puppy. The label designed by Maleny’s own Thomas Hamlyn-Harris, of TThink Designs. I’ll let him talk about the concept and design of a wine label. “Andrew from Purple Palate introduced me to Jennifer from Pirate Cru at a wine tasting. It was not long before Jennifer, Dirk and I were sitting down over a few wines discussing pirate mythology, 18th century paintings and old vines in the Barossa Valley – just your […]

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