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.


Comments

Laurent Merlin — 3 Comments

  1. I have a bottle of Laurent Merlin Cognac the ref on bottle says
    Chez Pineau 17520 Arthenac does this have any value

    • Hi Ian,
      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.
      Regards,
      Ton

    • 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…?

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