How St-Rémy Gave Brandy a 21st-Century Makeover

As any spirits connoisseur will tell you, no liquor cabinet is complete without a bottle (or two) of brandy. This fruit-derived liquor originated in France more than 700 years ago, and though it’s remained popular, it hasn’t deviated too much from the original – until recently. St-Rémy, the world’s leading French brandy, is reinvigorating every aspect of the category, from the maturation process to the bottle itself with its latest innovation, St-Rémy Signature.

St-Rémy has been distilling entirely French and quality-focused brandies since 1886, and as a true pioneer in the brandy world, it makes perfect sense it would take charge with this new iteration of the category-defining spirit.

Since 1997, St-Rémy master blender Cécile Roudaut has expertly guided product development. With a background in quality assurance, Roudaut applies her dedication to excellence to every aspect of the distillation process. A thorough understanding of the complex world of enology and spirits allows her to create and innovate, while her commitment to traditional French techniques honors St. Rémy’s heritage.

In creating St-Rémy Signature, Roudaut has pushed the boundaries of what brandy is: innovative, inspired, and poised.

St-Rémy Master Blender
Master Blender Cécile Roudaut

Revolutionizing Brandy for the Contemporary World

Every brandy begins with the earth, or, more specifically, the terroir in which the grapes are grown. Roudaut’s intimate familiarity with winemaking proved useful when it came to developing St-Rémy Signature, as she was able to select grapes that upheld her vision for the spirit. 

“When I created Signature, I wanted an indulgent brandy that was easy to drink and smooth. I wanted it to have notes of vanilla, and a lot of roundness as well as wood and structure for a full, harmonious product,” Roudaut says.

Typically, brandy is crafted from eau-de-vie or distilled wine that is then matured in oak barrels. But Roudaut knew that wouldn’t be enough to turn her dream brandy into a reality. Instead, the master blender implemented a process of her own creation.

Rather than maturing the eau-de-vie once, Roudaut began to experiment with a double maturation process. “To add the stage of maturation in small virgin oak barrels I conducted many trials,” Roudaut says. “We made numerous samples to define and optimize aging times. This allowed us to compose a harmonious and balanced whole.”

For the first round of maturation, Roudaut settled on barrels crafted from sessile oak with a fine grain, which imparts a unique spice and vivacity to the distilled wine. Then, the eau-de-vie is transferred to traditional casks in St-Rémy’s iconic second maturation. These brandy casks are hewn from English oak with a large grain and add sweetness, balance, and the St-Rémy flavor dedicated drinkers are familiar with. This double maturation process allowed Roudaut to finesse the complex flavors she envisioned for Signature, bringing them to their full potential. 

“To get the best balance, it takes a coherent whole, a true blend; it’s not just a sum of eaux-de-vie,” Roudaut says. “It takes detailed work, light touches, and composition to produce the most beautiful blend. Complexity is important but finesse and subtlety are essential.”

Once the second maturation has been completed, Roudaut then proceeds to expertly blend the eaux-de-vie, resulting in a liquor that is bright amber in color and bursting with unexpected flavors. It is then showcased in a minimal, modern bottle that is sure to look right at home on your bar cart.

St-Rémy Signature

St-Rémy Signature Ushers in a New Generation

Roudaut was able to distill her dreams into reality. The result is a warm and subtle brandy with aromas of wood, fresh fruit, vanilla, and spices. On the palate, the woody notes are enhanced by sweet honey and the essence of rich butter. Sipping Signature evokes visions of the French countryside: elevated, expansive, and inviting. 

Signature also perfectly encapsulates St-Rémy’s ethos. Though rooted in over 130 years of impeccable French tradition, Roudaut and her team never shy away from the opportunity to invent, to push the boundaries of what is possible. 

“I managed to obtain this desired duality between liveliness, youth, light, fine, sweet-spicy gourmet notes, and maturity and structure,” Roudaut says. “All these qualities are found in a bottle of St-Rémy Signature. The innovation behind this unique expression offers a new generation of brown spirits drinkers an experience that is truly unique yet remains true to its roots.”

For those who wish to explore the world of brandy with St-Rémy Signature, you can’t go wrong sipping it neat. Its broad range of flavors also makes it a versatile base for cocktails such as the French Old Fashioned or traditional brandy cocktails like the Signature Dry. 

If you’re interested in discovering what innovation tastes like, St-Rémy Signature is rolling out across a number of states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Whether your bar cart is replete with brandies or you’re looking to add in this staple, St-Rémy Signature provides a brandy-drinking experience unlike any other, one that is sure to imbue you with youthful exuberance all while maintaining the traditional excellence one would expect from St-Rémy. 

This article is sponsored by St-Rémy Signature.