French Excellence | Cognac Frapin

13 Nov 2020
6 min read
An established name since 1270, the Frapin family has evolved from producing wine to distilling first-class cognac. With a prime location in the heart of the Grande Champagne region, the 21-generation strong distillery takes craftsmanship to the highest levels of excellence, producing cognacs of the greatest caliber that are exclusively harvested, distilled and aged at the estate.

In the quaint village of Segonzac in southwestern France lies a historic cognac distillery led by the long-established Frapin family. Combining their extensive knowledge with time-honored methods passed down through generations, the family-run estate hand-crafts cognacs that are exclusively harvested, distilled and aged on their 600-acre property in the heart of the country’s premier cognac cru. Celebrating 750 years of excellence this year, Frapin’s style embodies the very essence of cognac of the highest distinction.

The Frapin story began back in 1270 when the Frapin family, who were passionate wine growers at that time, settled in Charente. After decades of both success and struggle, it was Pierre Frapin – a daring ship captain and heir to generations of winemakers and distillers – who took the first step to formalizing the Frapin brand by creating a trade company. Faced with the ravages of phylloxera attacking the vines, Pierre fought tooth and nail to keep the family business alive and thanks to his efforts, the Frapin vineyard and trading company survived one of the darkest times in cognac history. Determined to continue on developing his brand and the reputation of his cognacs, Pierre laid the foundations that define the soul of Frapin to this day. As a testament to his great work, he was awarded with several medals, including at the Universal Exhibitions in Paris in 1889 and 1900, then abroad in America, Brussels and Madrid.

From hereon out, the family business grew from strength to strength. In 1944, Pierre’s son Albert Frapin took over the reins of the family business and doubled the surface area of the vineyards. In 1966, Marie Frapin streamlined the production process and a new Frapin range was born, pre-empting the modern trend of aged cognacs. Within a few decades, with Frapin ahead of the curve, it was the norm for cognac to only be savoured once matured and the precious amber-hued spirit cemented itself in the market as a luxury French product. Even after the extensive growth of the spirit-production industry to meet ever-exceeding customer needs over the last century, Frapin has always remained faithful to its terroir, dead-set in maintaining the highest standards for its cognacs.

Since the Second World War, only three cellar masters have managed the Frapin cellars and with it, their incredible wealth of eau de vie expertise has manifested itself in the first-class product seen on shelves today. Thanks to Jean-Pierre Cointreau’s chairmanship, Frapin’s incredible story continues on with the estate’s cognac’s now being sold on all continents worldwide. Produced from 240 hectares of vines on their plot in Grande Champagne, the Frapin cognacs present a quintessential taste of the region, brimming with incredibly rich, complex, delicate and elegant aromas as bestowed by the chalky soils. The grapes offer a rare eau de vie which are revealed after a long ageing process, giving the Frapin cognacs a unique and much sought-after authenticity.

Another one of Frapin’s legacies are the secret cellars where the cognacs are stored in Limousin oak barrels, allowing them to evolve beautifully thanks to the dryness of the attics and humidity of the cellars. Barrels of various ages are used, and the Cellar Master employs his expertise to shape each cognac through slow evaporation, bringing roundness and suppleness to the cognac in the humid clay cellars. The dry cellars bring additional delicacy and elegance to the Frapin cognacs. Only time allows Grande Champagne to reveal its magnificent aromas and this is why Frapin ages their cognacs for longer. Passed down from generation to generation, the methods used by the Cellar Master continue to produce exceptional cognacs year after year.

In celebration of their 750-year anniversary, Frapin is selling 21 exceptional bottles symbolizing the 21 generations of Frapins who have treaded the Grande Champagne soil. This unreleased elixir of remarkable age symbolises the Frapin style. The experienced wine taster will be touched by the rare and unique qualities of Frapin 750 Cognac, enjoying a most memorable tasting. In addition to this special edition, Frapin also produces a range of 5 distinctive Héritage de la Maison cognacs that showcase the family’s ancestral knowledge and oldest reserves as well as 8 top-quality Trésors du Châteu that manifest the domanine’s exceptional terroir and long-standing know-how.


A rare pearl, secretly kept safe from the tides of time, Frapin 750 Cognac offers an atypical, extraordinarily fabulous tasting, characteristic of ultra-old cognacs. An invitation for connoisseurs to experience the intoxicating emotion of a journey through time.

Frapin 750 comes in a sumptuous Baccarat crystal carafe with a duet of crystal glasses, both engraved with the Frapin 750 emblem. The carafe and glasses will be set in an Elie Bleu box. The gorgeous illustration will be handmade with marquetry technique. Inside, the box is made from wood with a drawer including a book, a sealed envelope and a spot for a key. There is also an option to customize the outside of the box

Colour & Bouquet:

Shimmering, rich amber colour. Deep mahogany highlights. The nose is fine and extremely delicate.


Gourmet notes of pear and quince with light notes of wood in the background, followed by voluptuous aromas specific to very old cognacs: dried prune, old port and cocoa. The finish shows exceptionally rare notes of black tea and liquorice. There are also supple woody aromas with spicy notes. The finesse is immediately noticeable, with understated notes of nutmeg and exotic wood. Some warm balsamic underlays are crowned with a saffron note. During the tasting, the rancio asserts itself, lining the palate, imposing itself divinely for a long finish.


Frapin 1270 celebrates the great tradition of a family established in Charente since 1270 and honours the estate’s terroir and expertise. It is a versatile cognac that, thanks to its great aromatic richness, can be enjoyed neat or mixed. It is perfectly suited to spur-of-the-moment aperitifs, served over ice or forming a long drink by mixing with tonic or sparkling water. It is also the ideal base ingredient for the most sophisticated cocktails.

Colour & Bouquet:

Its warm, golden highlights give it a beautiful straw colour, bearing witness to its time in new Limousin oak barrels.


Frapin 1270 bares roundness, finesse and balance. Its length on the palate is due to a very special distillation over one lees, with slight vanilla or toast notes.


This VSOP benefits from the age-old traditional expertise of the Frapin family. Harvested, distilled over lees and aged on the domaine, it writes a new chapter of its history with a decanter bringing elegance, refinement and roundness.

Colour & Bouquet:

Its orange colour bears witness to its time ageing in Limousin oak barrels. The bouquet is complex; fruity with orange and floral with dried flowers. Discreet notes of vanilla are revealed. This Frapin VSOP offers a wonderful aromatic intensity.


Frapin VSOP is very harmonious. It is balanced with persistent flavours, including fruity orange notes. The finish is spicy with notes of cinnamon and pepper.


XO VIP is produced exclusively from the estate whose 240 hectares are located in the Grande Champagne area and is aged in the humid cellars for decades.

Colour & Bouquet:

A cognac with rich bronze tones and a natural purity, Frapin XO VIP charms from the first glance. The bouquet offers pleasing floral notes and a beautiful aromatic complexity punctuated with subtle woody tones.


After its delicate aromas, its power in the mouth comes as a surprise. XO VIP offers a palette of flavours, revealing in turn chocolate notes, dried fruit, candied fruit, and gingerbread. The expression is sophisticated and complex, with depth, but without ever losing the original freshness of the fruit.


This cuvée Extra is taken from the ancient family reserve. Exclusively harvested, distilled over lees and aged at the estate in the dry cellars over a number of decades to gain its beautiful finesse and elegance.

Colour & Bouquet:

The Extra offers a wonderful mahogany colour with warm copper highlights. The bouquet is very smooth, complex, developed aromas of aged port mixed with the scent of wooden cigar boxes, typical of old Grande Champagne cognacs. Captivating candied fruit aromas like apricot are perceptible.


The palate is supple, smooth, rich and luxurious, with an exceptionally long finish in which all the flavours combine in a subtle and complex harmony. Notes on the bouquet include the famous rancio.


Frapin Plume is made from a blend of around twenty eau de vie harvested, distilled over lees and aged on the domaine. This very old Grande Champagne cognac has aged patiently for over 60 years in century-old barrels in the estate’s Paradise “Pierre Frapin” humid cellar, favouring the roundness of this ancestral cognac.

Colour & Bouquet:

Plume Frapin offers a beautiful burnt orange colour. The bouquet is powerful and complex. Fruity notes of dried apricot, fig, orange, liquorice and tobacco, with cigar box notes that appear with time in the glass.


Plume Frapin has woody notes, prunes and candied fruits. The rancio flavour is well developed and the finish is exceptionally long. The flavour evolves greatly in the mouth.


Frapin’s ambassador, Château Fontpinot XO is the domaine’s truest treasure. Presented in a sleek, elegant bottle, this very old reserve XO can lay claim to the Château appellation because it is made exclusively from grapes harvested, distilled, aged and bottled at the Château Fontpinot. Hand-crafted distillation over lees and a long ageing in dry cellars give it a particular character.

Colour & Bouquet:

Château Fontpinot XO unveils a gorgeous autumnal golden-orange colour with warm highlights.

This XO cognac is the fruit of long ageing in dry cellars, which gives it a subtle, complex, refined, long-lasting bouquet consisting of candied fruit aromas (dried apricot, dried fig), marzipan, hazelnut, nougat, then port notes and finally the famous “rancio” character.


Balanced, rich and complex on the palate with aromas of dried fruits and candied fruits and an exceptionally long finish. Add a drop of water to Château Fontpinot XO to let the aromas breathe and soften the power of the cognac. Gourmets will find extra delight in this cognac, with its ability to enhance desserts and cheese boards thanks to its fruity undertones.  

To find out more about the brand and their cognacs, visit Cognac Frapin’s website.


Cognac Frapin also hosts 2 guided tours, inviting visitors to discover the estate and its renowned cognacs. More information on this can be found here.