We live in a world where everything is instant and immediate. The urge of immediacy sometimes makes us forget about the art of patience and the depth of craftsmanship and skills. Earlier I was introduced to the world of Louis XIII at their pop-up boutique in Harrods (only until 25th April), I was so fascinated to learn about the history behind this bottle of Cognac.
Personally I am not a fan of cognac, nor do I know a lot about it. That is why learning about the heritage of Louis XIII with a fresh eye makes is so much more fascinating. I also had the pleasure to speak to Ludovic du Plessis, the Global Executive Director of LOUIS XIII not only about the brand, but also a very exciting project that none of us will be able to see. Yes you read it correctly, a project that none of us will be able to see. I will come back to this later.
To begin with, LOUIS XIII is often being called “One Century in a bottle”, this is because each decanter takes four generations of cellar masters over 100 years to craft.
Since its origins in 1874, each generation of cellar master selects from their cellars the oldest and most precious eaux-de-vie for LOUIS XIII. Today, Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau is setting aside our finest eaux-de-vie, some of which will be selected for the LOUIS XIII blend in 100 years. LOUIS XIII is an exquisite blend of up to 1,200 eaux-de-vie sourced 100% from Grande Champagne, the most prized area in the Cognac region in France. The legendary Baccarat decanters have been made from fine crystal for generations, mouth-blown by some of the most skilled master craftsmen. LOUIS XIII features exceptional aromas evoking myrrh, honey, dried roses, plum, honeysuckle, cigar box, leather, figs and passion fruit. LOUIS XIII is a fragrance. The fragrance of Time. That is why the flavour is intense, complex but lively, all due to the multiple layers being carefully monitored and crafted over 100 years.
This cognac is historically used and drank by many royalties and significant figures through time and in many historical moments. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, General De Gaulle just to name a few, it has also been officially been awarded Purveyor to some highly prestigious Royal and Imperial Courts, such as the Imperial court of Austria-Hungary (1898), the Royal court of Bayern (1903) and the Royal court of Sweden (1956).
Now you may think, who has the privilege of 100 years to wait for a bottle of cognac? That is precisely the concept behind the brand- it is a lifestyle. It is a kind of luxury that cellar masters take their time (very literally) to create something for their future generations to enjoy. The passion, the love and the effort poured into creating this one bottle of cognac is expressed through time and patience. Can you imagine, creating something for your future generations? not one, but your 4th from now on. In the era where everything has to go onto instagram, real-time live feed, nothing can wait for one hour, let alone 100 years.
Now, back to my previous point of the exciting project that Ludovic du Plessis has created. It is a movie called “100 years, a movie you will never see”, written and played by John Malkovich, directed by Robert Rodriguez. So they produced the movie, envisioning Earth one hundred years from now and will not be released in its entirety until 2115. With only one film reel, locked it in a safe with the clock ticking, as soon as its done counting down to 100 years later, the safe will automatically open. Tickets were given to a limited number of audiences such as Anna Wintour, for their descendants to watch the movie 100 years later in 2115. The idea behind this film production is exactly the same as the one being a bottle of LOUIS XIII. Going against the urgency and immediacy, and wait. What will the future be like? you will find out 100 years later.
You can find out the teaser and some behind the scene here.
With the intention and concept to create the present LOUIS XIII as the ultimate instrument to celebrate the most memorable moments in life, Harrods created three different windows, each representing a celebratory moment. Because in a bottle of LOUIS XIII, a century has been captured, preserved, and then celebrated. If you want to experience the concept, or to find out more, the full LOUIS XIII range, from the ‘Miniature’ (5cl) to the recently launched 6L ‘Le Mathusalem’ is available for sale at Harrods until 25 April 2017. The Collection also includes special limited edition and collector’s item: ‘Time Collection – The Origin: 1874.’