A question of time… Some eaux-de-vie mature at two years (the minimum ageing period for cognac), while some develop at 20, others at 70. It’s all down to the watchful eye of the Cellar Master to decide when the eaux-de-vie have reached their full potential.
At this moment the eaux-de-vie are removed from their oak barrels and placed in demijohns. This stops the ageing process, keeping the eaux-de-vie at their most perfect. The finest are stored in the Jean Martell cellar, where some eaux-de-vie attain several hundred years of age, biding their time until, centuries later, they are used to make the rarest of cognacs.
Each eau-de-vie has a unique character, created by the choices made during ageing, such as the type of oak barrel used, the length of time left to mature, and from which cru it was cultivated. Like a singular note in a complex symphony, the Cellar Master must know how to introduce and combine each tone to create a perfect harmony.