Prunier Cognac Lot 42, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1989 (The Purist)

Prunier Cognac Lot 42, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1989 (The Purist)

Next weekend the first armagnac fair in Germany is taking place, and it is probably welcoming a lot of cognac fans (and bottlers) as well. No need to travel that far though: Belgian importer Wine4You is hosting its own spirits festival with a big emphasis on cognac, as well as armagnac, calvados and more. On Saturday and Sunday you’ll have the opportunity to try dozens of different cognac vintages, especially from Prunier and Vallein Tercinier. Safe to say they have the largest stock of aged cognacs in the Benelux.

For the occasion five Prunier exclusives are released under the Purist label, ranging from a Lot 42 to a 1989 vintage. The selection is also spanning the four top Crus, and we’ve had a sneak preview – here are our thoughts.


Cognac Prunier Lot 42 – Fins Bois (40,8%, OB for Wine4You / The Purist 2023, 12 btl.)

Nose: some heady orange liqueur with Earl Grey tea, then a nice quince-peach combination and melons. Quite ripe fruits, adding some weight. Dark honey as well as some mint – a perfect balance between darker and brighter registers. Whiffs of cigar boxes and tobacco, with wee hints of caramelized nuts. Over time there are growing floral notes (jasmin, scented wax candles) and a coppery note.

Mouth: despite the low ABV, it is certainly not weak or underpowered. Light raisins and toffee, moving towards black tea, grape pips and tobacco leaves. Cedar wood and marmalade set in, with hints of chlorophyll and subtle peppermint. A bit drier towards the end, with some pine bark and nutmeg.

Finish: quite long, still a little dry around the edges. Leafy notes and hints of walnuts.

Liquid history of course, with a marvellous old profile and just a tiny outturn. On the other hand I sometimes think these really old cognacs cannot quite match the ones that are a little less old. Great rancio notes and relatively fine wood, but personally I like to see some extra fruits. Around € 790.



Cognac Prunier 1989 – Grande Champagne (45,9%, OB for Wine4You / The Purist 2023, 42 btl.)

Prunier cognac 1989 - Grande Champagne - Wine4You

Nose: rich and polished, a true Grande Champagne. Oranges and apricots, leather and mint stand out. Subtle hints of sandalwood and cinnamon. Then also liquorice, chestnut, nougat and a little After Eight.

Mouth: a little spicier than expected. Liquorice, nutmeg, clove oil and tobacco leaves. Mid-palate some orange peels and floral notes grow stronger. Hazelnuts and walnuts add an Oloroso-like character. Cigar boxes and a drying, tannic woody side. Always a common thread of mint leaves too.

Finish: long, on a combination of mint, flowery hints and chestnut honey.

Again not the fruitiest cognac, perhaps 1989 is not yet at its prime. The typical floral elegance of Grande Champagne is definitely there, but there’s also a less expected earthy and woody side. Around € 250. Score: 88/100



Cognac Prunier 1986 – Petite Champagne (50,3%, OB for Wine4You / The Purist 2023, 42 btl.)

Prunier cognac 1986 - Petite Champagne - Wine4You

Nose: elegance is increasing even further, I’d say. Fine hints of furniture polish with spearmint and menthol. Then oranges, quinces and peaches, aromatic leather and subtle floral hints. A little blonde tobacco.

Mouth: oak appears with fine tannins and a pine-y side, but the fruity core is still really vibrant. More peaches, apricots and hints of bergamots. A hint of roasted pineapple. Then a little liquorice and leather. Bright floral honey too.

Finish: quite long, with a hint of toffee, as well as nectarine and mint.

A bit more oak this time, but also brighter fruits. My favourite so far, simply a nice all-round cognac with a very fresh appeal. Around € 250. Score: 90/100



Cognac Prunier 1978 – Borderies (52,3%, OB for Wine4You / The Purist 2023, 42 btl.)

Prunier cognac 1978 - Borderies - Wine4You

Nose: this is a more waxy profile. Beeswax and plenty of blossoms – orange blossom, violets and subtle potpourri. Plenty of rancio notes too, which were less apparent in the other releases. Then a lot of vibrant citrus fruits, rose pepper, peaches, quinces and verbena. A few drops of eucalyptus as well. Beautiful.

Mouth: obviously the ABV gives this the necessary punch, nicely supporting or lifting the (essentially delicate) flavours. Oranges and apricots, mashed bananas, more quinces, with plenty of floral honeys and subtle resins. Perfect rancio. A little leather appears, with mint and a few oaky tones.

Finish: quite long, on stewed fruits and honey, citrus and herbal tea.

Rather excellent cognac, for sure. Relatively sweet and rounded, with great rancio notes and the floral elements of Borderies. A restrained beauty and already a highlight in this session. Around € 400. Score: 91/100



Cognac Prunier 1977 – Fins Bois (61%, OB for Wine4You / The Purist 2023, 42 btl.)

Prunier cognac 1977 - Fins Bois - Wine4You

Nose: way more robust than the 1978. Very aromatic, more towards a sherried whisky in a way. Plums in armagnac, raisins, peaches, and melons. Mead and a little fudge. Some vanilla and pastry notes. Blood oranges. Aromatic tobacco and herbal tea in the background. Very rich and forthcoming.

Mouth: very rich again. There’s menthol and cedar wood – fairly rustic at first but adding plenty of fruity notes to keep the balance. Plums again, peaches, lightly tropical notes even. Dark heather honey. Then back to tobacco leaves and liquorice wood. Bananas flambéed.

Finish: long, getting a little drier now, but still showing oranges, caramelized nuts and herbal tea.

The richest of them all, with lots of complexity. Perhaps a little more robust and wood-driven, but I believe there’s more than enough fruit to keep it in check. In terms of price / quality this is the one to get in my opinion, so don’t miss the opportunity to try it at Wine4You’s open doors. Around € 350. Score: 91/100