"Classic techniques. Hand-crafted brandies
of unmatched quality."
Wine Journal says: "Germain-Robin is one of a small group of
artisan distillers who compete with the Europeans in the market for high-quality,
ultra- premium brandy, eaux-de-vie, and grappa. He combines European
equipment and methods with California grapes and wine-making technology.
The brandies produced by Germain-Robin rival the finest cognacs."
was founded in the early 80s by Hubert Germain-Robin and Ansley Coale,
Jr. They met in a chance happening when Ansley picked up Hubert and his
wife who were hitchhiking through California. Ansley is a former professor
of classics at Berkeley turned sheep farmer and Hubert came from a prominent
family of distillers in France (who have been producing cognac since 1782).
With Coale's suggestion that Hubert distill local grapes, Hubert returned
to France and obtained an "alambic" still (one with a long neck which produces
a smoother product) which was installed in a small wooden cabin overlooking
the sheep farm. Each year Hubert, using traditional methods that have been
almost entirely abandoned in France, hand-distills 80 barrels of a true
connoisseur's brandy, equal to cognacs from the finest smaller producers.
The individual wines are distilled twice then
placed in new French oak barrels for a year then moved to seasoned old
barrels from Cognac. Finally, they are blended to create the fine line
of Germain-Robin brandies.
Germain-Robin brandies display
fruity delicacy, finesse, and uncommon smoothness. The distinctive fruity
richness comes from the brilliant California sun and from the distillation
of premium varietals, including Pinot Noir.
"Is the World's Best Cognac Made in Ukiah?"
Except for the single-barrel, all
GERMAIN-ROBIN brandies are blends
of different varietals and different vintages. Unlike European grape spirits
(cognac, armagnac), GERMAIN-ROBIN
is distilled from premium grapes: pinot noir, chenin blanc, semillon. Better
wine-making equipment means the varietal characteristics of the wines emerge
clear, pure and rich. Hand-distillation, using a small cognac still, evokes
a refined and elegant concentration of flavor.
The younger (VSOP) brandies have
wonderful Californian fruit overtones. The basic wines are Colombard and
Chenin Blanc, with Gamay Beaujolais and Pinot Noir. Other varietals are
used for complexity and balance. Pure and flavorful.
200 cases/year. The blend given
to shareholders. Younger brandies selected for fragrance and delicacy are
blended with older brandies distilled fro Pinot Noir, which gives the blend
structure, depth, and a rich finish. Average age about 7 years. Amazingly
Astonishing quality in the classic
XO tradition. Very deep and rich, with hints of vanilla and dark chocolate.
Eleven years in small Limousin barrels,
chosen from the brandies which are put aside for long aging. High proportion
of brandies from Pinot Noir. The finish is astoundingly long and full.
Brandies with cedar and tobacco
overtones create a "humidor" fragrance. Contains brandy distilled from
Sauvignon Blanc which delivers lush fruit on the forward palate, where
it balances a cigar's earthy dryness.
Limited release, two barrels/year.
Brandy from a single varietal, unblended while aging. No caramel, no sugar,
simply a pure essence of the original wine, brought ot bottling proof with
rainwater. Pure, soft intensity.
One batch, about 45 cases/year.
Whole-grape grappa (technically, an "ue") distilled in a cognac still (elegance
and delicacy) from very special grapes: 75-year-old high-bench vines, organically
dry-farmed. Amazing intensity, without the usual grappa-kerosene overtones.
The Los Olivos Wine &
Spirits Emporium is one of the largest retailers of Germain-Robin
Fine Alambic Brandies in the world. We also carry our own MARKET
BRANDY, which was produced for us by Germain-Robin. We invite
you to visit our stock page for our current selection,
or call us toll free in the United States at 888-SB-WINES.