Laurent Merlin, bouilleur de cru in Artenac, petite champagne
Very sadly this superb petite champagne brand has ceased to exist since several years now. It was established in 1870 in Arthenac by Laurent’s grandfather, Laurent Merlin (born ca. 1853) and has been in the family ever since. After Laurent it was Oscar (1885-1962), followed by Laurent. After Laurents demise in the late 1990s, his daughter Carmen was in charge. For the first few years she has produced new cognacs (VSOP, Vieille Réserve), but in the 2010s she started selling the stocks and sold the vineyards too. The Hors Pair was among the last bottles still available and is sublime. And maybe a little uncommon for a bouilleur de cru, but they made several vintage cognacs too.
Their twenty hectares vineyard was located in the very best petite champagne area on a very limestone rocky hillside and planted solely with ugni blanc.
Laurent Merlin preferred working with restaurants and connoisseurs. He was supplier of numerous famous restaurants like Taillevent, La Tour d’Argent, Troisgros, Bocuse and Faugeron. Other clients were l’Assemblee Nationale, Le Sénat, Le Ministerie de l’Economie et des Finances, to name just a few.
Hello Ton, Do you know if there is a new company producing on this very choice land? Since it was purchased in 2010, it would be interesting if production has been taken over and new cognacs will be coming out in the next years. Also, where would be my best bet of finding a hidden bottle or mini of the Hors Pairs as a person also in the Netherlands like you? If you know any tips they are warmly welcomed!
I have a bottle of Laurent Merlin Cognac the ref on bottle says
Chez Pineau 17520 Arthenac does this have any value
Yes it has! This is a great petite champagne brand, in high demand among connoisseurs. Sadly the brand does not exist anymore.
What quality is it? Can you send a picture.
I’ll mail you to facilitate sending pictures.
Thanks for sending a picture. It is a Napoléon quality. This would have costed €50 when they were sold back then.
It is difficult to estimate because the Napoléon is not often seen. I can tell you this: the ‘Hors Pair’ from Laurent Merlin costed €100-120 and was excellent. Nowadays these bottles go for €300-400. Hors Pairs have aged over 50 years. Napoleons have aged over 6 years, but possibly 10-15 years.
So maybe €100-150 would be about right…?