Louis XIII (cognac)

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Louis XIII

Louis XIII (French pronunciation: ​[lwi tʁɛz]) is a cognac produced by Rémy Martin, a company headquartered in Cognac, France, and owned by the Rémy Cointreau Group. The name was chosen as a tribute to King Louis XIII of France, the reigning monarch when the Rémy Martin family settled in the Cognac region. He was the first monarch to recognize cognac as a category in its own right in the world of eaux-de-vie.[1]

Louis XIII cognac is produced in the Grande Champagne region of Cognac, from the growing of the grapes to the distillation and aging of the eaux-de-vie. The final blend is composed of up to 1,200 individual eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne vineyards, ranging from at least 50 years to 100 years in age.[2]


Paul-Emile Rémy Martin

The origins of Louis XIII cognac begin with the founding of the House in the Cognac region in the early 1700s. In 1841, after more than a century of producing cognac, Paul-Emile Rémy Martin assumed control of the business and began selling the House’s cognacs under the family name.[3]

Paul-Emile broke from tradition and began bottling his cognacs rather than continuing to sell them by the barrel. In 1874, he began selling a blend of his best 100% Grande Champagne cognacs in an ornate decanter. While originally designated "Grande Champagne Very Old – Age Unknown," this particular blend and its decanter later became known as Louis XIII.[3]


The Domaine Du Grollet
The Domaine Du Grollet
Field of grapes from Grande Champagne for LOUIS XIII Cognac production
Field of grapes from Grande Champagne for LOUIS XIII Cognac production

The eaux-de-vie for Louis XIII are still exclusively sourced from the Grande Champagne cru of Cognac. This region in Cognac is distinguished for its limestone composition that is considered ideal for the grapes employed in the production of cognac.[4] The ageing process takes place exclusively inside 100-150 year-old tierçons, thin-walled French oak casks originally designed for maritime transport that are no longer being produced.[5]

Since 1874, each generation of cellar master has selected the oldest and best eaux-de-vie for Louis XIII from the House’s cellars.[2] As the cellar master may never taste the final blend for which some of these eaux-de-vie are intended, each cellar master must also carefully train a successor. The House’s current cellar master, Baptiste Loiseau, joined as an apprentice to the previous cellar master, and then assumed the position of cellar master in 2014 at the age of 34.[2]



Drawing of LOUIS XIII from 1850 based on a metal flask originally recovered from the site of the Battle of Jarnac (1569)

The concept for the decanter of Louis XIII originated in 1850, when Paul-Emile Rémy Martin came across a metal flask originally recovered from the site of the Battle of Jarnac (1569). He purchased the metal flask and registered the rights for its reproduction. In 1874, in honour of the House’s 150th anniversary, he designed a glass replica of the flask to use as the vessel for his best cognac.[3] Today, each crystal decanter is handmade by French crystal manufacturers: Baccarat, Saint-Louis, and Cristallerie de Sèvres.[1][6]

Louis XIII is bottled in several sizes: Classic (700 ml or 750ml [USA]), Magnum (1.5L or 1.75L [USA]), Miniature (50ml), Jeroboam (3L), and Mathusalem (6L) formats.[7]

Collectors editions[edit]

Rare Cask 42.6[edit]

Rare Cask 42.6 is distinguished by its alcohol content at 42.6% ABV rather than the expected 40%.[8]

Rare Cask 43.8[edit]

Rare Cask 43.8 was produced from a single cask with a higher alcohol content (43.8% ABV) than the other Louis XIII tierçons.[9]

Black Pearl[edit]

Black Pearl was created as an homage to the origins of Louis XIII. The colour of the crystal was inspired by the original metal flask found at the site of the battle of Jarnac.[10]

Black Pearl Anniversary Edition[edit]

Black Pearl Anniversary Edition was created to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the brand.[11]

L’Odyssée d’un Roi[edit]

L’Odyssée d’un Roi was released as a collaboration with three French luxury houses, Hermès, Puiforcat, and Saint-Louis. Hermès created a bespoke leather trunk, Puiforcat forged a white gold serving pipette, and Saint-Louis hand-blew and engraved a unique version of the decanter with a map of Louis XIII’s journey around the world. Only three were made, and were auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York, Hong Kong, and London, with the proceeds benefitting The Film Foundation’s preservation efforts.[12][13]

Time Collection – The Origin – 1874[edit]

The Origin is named in tribute to the original decanter created in 1874.[14]

The Legacy[edit]

The Legacy is a direct collaboration between four generations of cellar masters. Offered in Magnum format, each is individually signed by the four cellar masters.[15]

Media Projects[edit]

Film (100 Years)[edit]

In November 2015, Louis XIII partnered with actor John Malkovich and director Robert Rodriguez to create a film entitled 100 Years – The Movie You Will Never See, which will not be released until the year 2115, mirroring the 100 years it takes to create the final blend of Louis XIII cognac.[16][17] The film highlights the uncertainty of the future and the variables that contribute to a single decanter of Louis XIII.[16] The film is housed in a safe designed by Fichet-Bauche, kept at the Cellars of Louis XIII in Cognac, France, set to automatically open on 18 November 2115.[16]


In November 2017, Louis XIII partnered with Pharrell Williams to create "100 Years – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care" to be released in 2117.[18] The song is a collaborative effort intended to draw attention to environmental issues and the unpredictability of the future.[19] Pharrell’s track was recorded on a disc made out of clay from the chalky soil of Cognac, France, and played once for an audience of 100 in Shanghai, China.[20] The disc was then locked in a specially designed Fichet-Bauche safe that protects it against everything except water from potential rising tides, which would dissolve the clay disc.[18]


  1. ^ a b Phillips, Rod. "Rémy Martin's Louis XIII Cognac: The heart of cognac". nuvomagazine.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Hung, Jay (14 June 2017). "Louis XIII Cognac - A Royal Tasting with Baptiste Loiseau". Bevvy. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Laurenceau, Thomas (1991). Rémy Martin: l'esprit du cognac. Paris: E/P/A. ISBN 2-85120-393-2.
  4. ^ Gladstones, John (2011). Wine, terroir and climate change. Kent Town, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press. ISBN 1862549249.
  5. ^ "Our Louis XIII experience in Cognac". Cognac Fans. Cognac Fans. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  6. ^ Bray, Sarah (30 August 2016). "I Went to France to Taste Some Century-Old Cognac". Town & Country. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  7. ^ Neshvin, Prem (1 August 2017). "Here's what it takes to produce the 6-litre LOUIS XIII Le Mathusalem". Luxury Insider. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  8. ^ Harris, Jenn. "You can get a $40,000 bottle of Cognac at the Peninsula Beverly Hills". latimes.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  9. ^ Hallock, By Betty. "A bottle of $22,000 Cognac arrives at the Four Seasons". latimes.com. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  10. ^ Wells, Emily Arden. "Rémy Martin's Louis XIII Black Pearl Anniversary Edition". Cool Hunting. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  11. ^ Paskin, Becky. "Rémy Martin releases Louis XIII Black Pearl birthday edition". The Spirits Business. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  12. ^ "A Unique Crystal Magnum Decanter of Special Louis XIII Cognac Engraved with a Map of the Americas". Sotheby's. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Louis XIII Unveils L'Odyssée d'Un Roi In A Bespoke Trunk By Hermès". pursuitist.com. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  14. ^ Newhouse, Doug (10 January 2017). "Rémy Martin launches the Louis XIII 'Time Collection'". Trbusiness. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  15. ^ Lovato, Kimberley (28 August 2017). "Cellar Masters On the Ultimate Compliment in Cognac: "You Haven't Changed a Thing"". Robb Report. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b c Dawson, Angela (20 November 2015). "A Cognac Brand Just Made a John Malkovich Film That No One Will See for 100 Years". Adweek. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  17. ^ Rosen, Christopher (5 May 2016). "Cannes to showcase John Malkovich movie no one will see for 100 years". EW.com. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  18. ^ a b Schulman, Alissa (14 November 2017). "Pharrell Locked His Newest Recording in a Safe for 100 Years—Here's Why". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  19. ^ Neshvin, Prem (1 December 2017). "Pharrell Williams' Collaborative Song with LOUIS XIII only debuts in 2117". Luxury Insider. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  20. ^ Jardine, Alexandra (16 November 2017). "Pharrell Williams made a song for Louis XIII that you won't hear for a century in Fred & Farid campaign". Creativity Online. Retrieved 11 July 2018.