François Thibault’s tribute to his Cognac roots


GREY GOOSE VX is an exclusive edition of GREY GOOSE, and is a rather interesting one.

VX, or Vodka Exceptionelle, is a combination of vodka and Cognac, so it is technically neither, and under EU classification, VX is considered a mixed spirit drink.

François Thibault, Maître de Chai for GREY GOOSE, created this unusual spirit as a grateful tip of the hat to a region that has made him the man that he is today. François is no stranger to controversy thanks (or no thanks) to his restlessness and willingness to be inventive. His initial work on GREY GOOSE despite being a Maître de Chai drew some ire from traditionalists, but the success of GREY GOOSE eventually led to the acceptance of his maverick approach.

François Thibault

“I am inspired by both the authentic and the innovative – drawing from the best of the past to create something new and meaningful. This is how GREY GOOSE VX came to be,” said François. When creating GREY GOOSE VX, he wanted to add a hint of what young Cognac is all about: delicate floral notes with a freshness of grape.

“I’ve carefully selected only the most precious and exquisite Cognac, and the intricate marriage of this with GREY GOOSE vodka results in a rich and complex nose, with hints of white fruit blossom, plum, apricot, light citrus and wild honey, followed by a long, lingering finish. This is a very special liquid – which can only produced in limited quantities to uphold its superior character. It is truly unique and luxurious – a celebration of French craftsmanship.”

The VX is truly a worthy display of French craft: from the French decanter style bottle with exquisite detailing, to quality ingredients and stringent processes, GREY GOOSE has spared no expense in the creation of this special edition.

GGVX

The bottle is made from ‘extra flint’ glass for a reassuring heft and exceptional clarity, and tastefully rounded at the shoulders. A weighted, crafted stopper with the GREY GOOSE motif completes the exquisite look. As a testament to his attention to detail, François was also adamant against using a cork stopper lest it impaired the nuances and flavour of the VX spirit.

At its heart, VX is essentially vodka that has been, in their own words, “masterfully finished’ with a hint of Cognac – specifically, 95 per cent GREY GOOSE vodka and 5 per cent Cognac. According to François, this is the perfect ratio for a subtle balance of a distinctive aroma and taste that would not overpower the intrinsic taste of the soft winter wheat spirit that GREY GOOSE had become famous for.

François’ meticulous preparation extends even to the selection of grapes. Seeking to express the terroir of his region, he chose the Ugni Blanc from the Grande Champagne area in Southwest France, which he regards as the most coveted source of grapes for distilled spirits in the world. Most of the grapes used in the making of VX are grown within the grounds of Le Logis, brand home of GREY GOOSE. The vineyard at Le Logis can only produce a limited amount of Cognac, so François will work with partners in the region to ensure that they have enough quality eau-de-vie to meet their needs.

At Le Logis, François selects the grapes that are used in the production, right down to exact time the grapes are harvested. Instead of harvesting the grapes when they are mature, he chooses a specific moment when the brix content, acidity levels, and expression of aromatics are to his liking. The eau-de-vie is then produced by distilling the lees with the wine. François wanted to capture the essential characteristics of the terroir, and the lees contains many amino acids rich in aromatic compounds.

The distilled spirit is then aged for one to two years in vintage casks (fresh young oak will impart too much tannins and overpowering notes as well as colour) made from limousin and troncais oak, specially selected by François to add a delicate nuance of French oak. The Cognac is then chill-filtered and blended with GREY GOOSE vodka at the blending room in Gensac, and the GREY GOOSE VX is born.

Henrik Resurrecion, Brand Manager of Bacardi-Martini Singapore, sums up the GREY GOOSE VX perfectly: “It’s a celebration of the new and the old, of authenticity and innovation, and the result is something very special.”

VX Promo

Official notes

colour Clear

nose White flowers; jasmine, acacia, iris, stone fruits, apricot and notes of white peach and lychee

palate and finish Leaves a gentle sweetness that gradually envelops the mouth, giving a smooth and rounded texture with a finish that is fresh and bright throughout.

GREY GOOSE recommends that you enjoy the VX on the rocks in a fine snifter glass, or have it simply served chilled and neat,  to best appreciate its rich and aromatic character.

GREY GOOSE VX will only be produced in limited quantities, and is now available in select fine restaurants, nightclubs and bars.