Louis XIII cellar master Baptiste Loiseau

Louis XIII: creation of a lasting legacy

27 July, 2023

Luxury and sustainability are a common juxtaposition but for Louis XIII, one of the most exclusive cognac brands in the business, the two concepts are being aligned. 

The House of Rémy Martin line has recently introduced The Infinity Experience, which allows an owner to return their decanter to be refilled an infinite number of times at the Louis XIII Boutique in Harrods, London.

In the two-stage client experience, each decanter is first inspected, cleaned and resealed before it gets refilled – a process which only the owner of the decanter is allowed to witness. The Louis XIII eaux-de-vie is then poured from the refill capsule into the decanter, with each refill capsule carrying an engraved medal that is transferred to the decanter before it is sealed, boxed and returned to the owner.

Louis XIII cellar master Baptiste Loiseau says the House of Rémy Martin's philosophy is called ‘sustainable exception’ in English – in order to create “exceptional cognacs” it must use “sustainable practices from the ground and soil of Grande Champagne to the final step, the experience for the client".

Loiseau says: “We have understood for a very long time that some of our clients have a really deep connection with their decanter because the decanter itself is a masterpiece, made by Baccarat. When you have the link of it being a gift or the transmission from father to son, for example, the decanter itself is something you want to keep.”

Only offered in Cognac, London and Beijing, Loiseau notes: “The approach is to think more and more about how we can better understand our clients and be in touch with them. So the Louis XIII boutiques are there to offer this experience and manage the refill in only these boutiques.”

Liquid focus

Louis XIII has to follow the rules of what grapes can be used to make its cognac, with the main one being Ugni Blanc. Loiseau notes this is the best one now. “But we are facing some changes and we have to wonder if Ugni Blanc will be the appropriate cultivar in the next decades.”

As a result, the brand has carried out research to see if an old cultivar could be of interest now because of the change in climate. This cultivar is called Mondabon, which was not corresponding to the needs of the brand 40 years ago, but now is “showing some assets that are of interest”, notes Loiseau. Therefore seven years ago, 1ha of Monbadon was planted and grown, with the wine made and double distilled, which in five to 10 years will either be “deployed as a new cultivar as a creation or for research,” adds Loiseau.

Further practices

After two years in development, Louis XIII recently completed a redesign of the classic decanter coffret that, while preserving key elements of colour, design and heritage, is now made entirely from cellulosic materials to be 100% recyclable. Having reworked the balance between function and sustainability, Louis XIII has reduced CO2 emissions relating to the packaging by 57%, with each coffret being 24% lighter and 14% smaller than the previous design.

Loiseau notes that Louis XIII has to “take into account what has been done in the previous generations. However, as the cellar master I have to be a visionary to prepare the future for the next generation, so the balance between tradition and modernity.

“Sustainability and the fact that we are working with time as a raw material is part of the DNA. When you plant a vineyard it’s not just for one or two vintages, it’s for 40 years. The concept of Infinity is really the rebirth of a decanter. It’s a link between generations and an allegory for what we are doing in the vineyards every year,” adds Loiseau.

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