Gently push open the door of the Tesseron home in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente to discover the family treasure : a unique collection of the finest cognacs. This treasure trove dates back to the nineteenth century when Abel Tesseron acquired this property and began his collection of rare and priceless cognacs. A tradition continued by his son and grandson Alfred, who runs the business today and who also owns the prestigious Château Pontet-Canet, a Pauillac Classified Growth in 1855. Abel Tesseron created his own cognac company in 1905, relying at the time on two separate estates, one situated in the Grande Champagne area (Boneuil) and the other in Petite Champagne (Saint-Surin). He adopted a long term policy of building up stocks of eaux-de-vie, carefully conserved in a twelfth century crypt. These old and rare treasures, besides achieving a great reputation amongst a small circle of connoisseurs, have always been sought after by the big cognac merchants, assured of the fine quality of the eaux-de-vie they would use to complete their blends. Today, thanks to a continual and ever increasing demand, the company is selling more and more of its cognacs under the Tesseron name. The cognacs within the Tesseron range are specifically labelled as ‘lots’, a term rarely used in Charente. As Alfred Tesseron explains : “These ‘lots’ are, in fact, blends taken from our reserve stocks.” The ‘maître de chai’ knows the character of each cask of Cognac as if they were his children. Each will be different with its own individual personality, even though the ‘eaux-de-vies’ may be distilled from identical grape varieties on the same day. Blending is a great skill, an art, which like great Cognac takes many years to develop. Tesseron Cognacs have great complexity and depth as the ‘maître de chai’ creates a subtle blend of three grape varieties: Ugni Blanc for roundness, Folle Blanche for finesse and Colombard for strength and depth. Each variety and cask will lend a special nuance for the final blend.