Thinking A Century Ahead With Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD: Elaine Lim-Chan and Chan Kok Weng
When former Rémy Martin chairman André Renaud decided that the house will exclusively produce cognac made from Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne crus, it was with foresight into the next century, leading the house to producing exceptional cognacs. Located in the heart of Cognac, the first cru of the region Grande Champagne is sacred. Limestone based soils allows the roots of the Ugni blanc (or Trebbiano grape) vines to burrow deep into the Earth and retrieve the vital nutrients. This results in grapes perfect for distillation and maturation, hence producing the most powerful and long-ageing cognacs. Louis XIII Cognac is an exquisite blend of up to 1,200 grapes eau de vie sourced exclusively from Grande Champagne.
The importance of terroir extends beyond the vineyards and into the cellars, where barrels of distilled nectar perform magic over decades and centuries. A mysterious interplay between the air of the cellars, the wood of the barrels and the eau de vie culminates in a firework of flavours. The limited edition Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD represents the pinnacle of Louis XIII cognac: its precious liquid is drawn from a single tierçon hidden in the family reserve, deep inside the André Hériard Dubreuil cellar, which is cooler, darker and damper than the other cellars.
Having visited the family estate and cellars, and tasted eau de vie straight from the barrel, Singaporean couple and Louis XIII Cognac collectors Elaine Lim-Chan and Chan Kok Weng have developed a deeper appreciation for the craft that goes into making each bottle of cognac.
MEET ELAINE LIM-CHAN
As a Managing Director at Deutsche Personal Wealth, Elaine Lim-Chan understands there is little room for ignorance. The go-getter’s success is dependent on her ability to combine market knowledge and relationship skills; something she also poured into her role as the first female president of Singapore’s Ferrari Owner’s Club back in 2015.
“During my tenure as president, I got Louis XIII onboard as a sponsor and thanks to that connection, when I organised a trip to France, we went to Cognac and visited their estate,” she shares. There, the couple were treated to an exclusive experience of dining in the family cellars and tasting eau de vie directly from the barrels. This first-hand exposure impressed on them the centuries-old heritage and artisanal dedication that goes into the production of Louis XIII.
Every sip, every drop contains a multitude of complexity. And yet, it is so much more than just a bottle of cognac, it’s history.
MEET CHAN KOK WENG
CEO and medical managing director for KW Chan Aesthetics, as well as fashion spectacles aficionado, Chan Kok Weng says of that educational visit to Rémy Martin estate, “We realised that there is so much of beauty and nature, but also so much effort by skilled labour and artisan craftsmanship that goes into cognac production.”
Buoyed by their intimate and extensive of knowledge of cognac production, the couple have almost taken on a de facto spokespersons role of passing on the appreciation of Louis XIII. Chan notes, ”Younger generation these days are moving on to whiskies but when we introduce them to Louis XIII, they are blown away by the taste. Tasting is the proof of the pudding. We can tell wax lyrical about how it tastes in a million words but the moment they taste it for themselves, it is special. The memory of that taste, they’ll never lose it.”
(Related: How Baptiste Loiseau Is A Master Of Time)
How did you start appreciating Louis XIII?
Elaine Lim-Chan (ELC) I was introduced to Louis XIII when I was the President of the Ferrari’s Owners Club Singapore. I managed to get them onboard as one of our sponsors, as their premier status and unparalleled heritage reflects the same of the Ferrari brand. As I learned about Louis XIII and its production, I began to appreciate how it encapsulates “one century in a bottle”, and have become a loyal appreciator of this cognac.
What is it about Louis XIII Cognac that you two love?
Chan Kok Weng (CKW) Going beyond the image and the prestige, the complexity of Louis XIII is second to none. All you need to do is take a little drop, swallow it, breathe in then breathe out through your nose, and close your eyes—you can taste and smell all the various fruit and flowers, the whole bouquet of flavours and smells. It is a drink that requires appreciation at your own time.
ELC Every sip, every drop contains a multitude of complexity. And yet, it is so much more than just a bottle of cognac, it’s history.
CKW When the cellar master blends it, he or she has a hundred over years of eau de vie to play around with.
Why do you think it is important to pass on the appreciation of Louis XIII to the next generation?
CKW Because the precious liquid is scarce and takes time to age. On top of that, every year, the cellar masters have to create a consistent taste but from a depleting stock. The artistry is to create a consistent taste based on what they have left.
What legacy and life advice would you like to pass on to the next generation?
CKW Live for today, think for tomorrow and hope to reach the day after.
ELC Quality over quantity. We are very thankful to have the chance to experience all these fine things in life.
The limited edition Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD contains a rare and exquisite blend of cognac that is drawn from one single tierçon hidden deep inside the André Hériard Dubreuil cellar. Built in the name of the previous chairman Rémy Martin, this particular cellar is cooler, darker, and damper than the other cellars of the estate, providing the specific ageing conditions that impart the signature fresh, floral and intense earthy aromas for a Louis XIII blend.
We speak to four other pairs of society couples and find out about their appreciation for Louis XIII Cognac.
Jeffrey and Emily Piak | Anthony Yong And Siow Yin Yin | Kenneth Tan And Shenise Wong | Doreen and Elbert Pattijn
- Producer Daphne Chen-Cordeiro
- Photography Gan
- Styling Joey Tan
- Hair Karol Soh using L'Oréal
- Make-Up Jyue Huey /The Make Up Room using M.A.C