Laurent Merlin Hors-Pair Cognac Petite Champagne is a superb Petite Champagne cognac, aged for an average of 50 years. Laurent Merlin, located in the town of Arthenac in the Petite Champagne cru, was established in 1870. The Merlin family owned a 20 hectare vineyard of Ugni Blanc, and their cognacs were ranked among the best of the Petite Champagne. When her father died in the late 1990s, fourth-generation distiller Carmen Merlin took over the family business. She ran the company for several years, but began selling off stocks in the 2010s and finally sold the vineyard as well. Laurent Merlin Hors-Pair Cognac Petite Champagne boasts notes of apricot, pear, raisins, almonds, nutmeg, cinnamon, cedar wood and flowers. The cognac has a round, elegant and well-balanced palate leading to a very long finish.