The year 2016 marks a time of transition for the Maison Hennessy as 7th generation Master Blender Yann Fillioux prepares to pass the keys to the cellar
to his nephew, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde.
Hennessy is proud to announce that 2016 marks the opening of an important new chapter in its 250-year history. Starting in February, Hennessy’s current Master Blender, Yann Fillioux, officially inducted his nephew, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, a member of the 8th generation of the Fillioux family, as the next Master Blender at the Maison Hennessy. Under the mentorship of his uncle, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde will continue to hone his skills. A member of the tasting committee for the past 14 years, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde will succeed his uncle in due course, when Yann Fillioux steps down following a distinguished career as “guardian of the temple” at the Maison Hennessy.
Major Milestone: Unbroken Dynasty Since the 1800s
The arrival of a new generation marks a milestone for the Maison Hennessy. The unbroken cognac-making dynasty dates back to the early 1800s, when James Hennessy chose Jean Fillioux as his Master Blender. Seven generations later, in the spirit of the Hennessy family, Bernard Peillon welcomed Renaud Fillioux de Gironde and saluted Master Blender Yann Fillioux’s 50-year tenure at the Maison. “As Hennessy’s 7th-generation Master Blender, Yann Fillioux has honored the tradition shared by the Hennessy and Fillioux families for 250 years, and he has done so with talent, vision and respect. It is with great emotion that we witness the passing of the torch to his nephew, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, who will bring his own vision to the Maison Hennessy and ensure that its savoir-faire is carried safely into the future.”
Celebrating with an Ultimate Blend
To honor the arrival of Hennessy’s 8th generation and a heritage of passing down its cognac making savoir-faire, Yann Fillioux has created his ultimate blend: the legacy cognac Hennessy·8 embodies 250 years of excellence, shared expertise and perpetual reinvention. Due to its unique and historical nature, Hennessy·8 will be presented in a limited edition of 250 bottles, starting in March 2016, never to be crafted again. Hennessy·8: a Masterpiece At once timeless and contemporary, Hennessy·8 is a literal and figurative symbol of Hennessy’s heritage of transmission from one generation to the next.
It is the result of a precious alchemy: Hennessy·8 is also named after the eight eaux-de-vie it contains. Seven of these were hand selected by Yann Fillioux to illustrate each of the seven successive generations of Hennessy Master Blenders. The eighth eau-de-vie was chosen by Renaud Fillioux de Gironde who, once he becomes Master Blender, will be the 8th generation of Fillioux to steer the Maison Hennessy’s creations.
Ultra Special: A One-Time Creation
Hennessy·8 was composed with the knowledge that this blend would be a one-time creation, a singular hymn to freedom, passion and originality. For Yann Fillioux, this cognac blend is nothing less than “a Master Blender’s dream come true”. “The number 8 is the eternal symbol of perfection, as Hennessy·8 well illustrates,” notes Yann Fillioux. “For me, it embodies ideal simplicity and absolute perfection.”
One Masterpiece Deserves Another
Because one masterpiece deserves another, Hennessy asked the internationally renowned artist Arik Levy, a longtime friend of the Maison, to design an exceptional creation to showcase Hennessy·8. An elegant homage to Hennessy’s history and values, the Hennessy·8 carafe and chest embody remarkable technical prowess. Crafted in hand-blown Baccarat crystal, the Hennessy·8 carafe is a veritable masterpiece of crystal-making savoir-faire. Its design features 8 inset rings, an ode to eight generations of Master Blenders and the eight eaux-de-vie inside. Observed as a whole, this virtuoso composition is greater than the sum of its parts: in creating an impression of movement, it forms a tribute to the Maison Hennessy’s traditions of constant innovation and passing down know-how from one generation to the next. A crystal stopper engraved with a floral motif reprises the notion of eight rings, while a copper silk thread around the bottle’s collar leads to an “H” medallion sealed by a ribbon, a specialized technique perfected by Hennessy’s sister house, the Maison Guerlain.
An ode to nature and to Hennessy’s historic seat in Cognac, France, the precious Hennessy·8 chest cradles the carafe like a protective shell. Using oak staves sourced from La Sarrazine, the Hennessy cooperage, Arik Levy crafted a design in 25 layers, each one symbolizing 10 years of Hennessy’s history. An irregular cut down the length of the chest evokes the Charente river that runs through Cognac, a detail that takes on further depth thanks to the copper “riverbed” that appears to glow from within the chest. Inside the chest, a copper inlay takes the form of the traditional alembic, a further symbol of the house’s craftsmanship.
Carafes Assembled by Han, Numbered and Signed
Hennessy·8 carafes are assembled by hand in the Atelier des Editions Rares, a dedicated
workshop reserved for crafting the most prestigious Hennessy creations. Each carafe is individually numbered and signed by Arik Levy and may be personalized upon request. It is accompanied by an elegant toolbox containing 4 tasting glasses originallydesigned by glassmaker Georg Riedel and Yann Fillioux 30 years ago; these have been re-edited exclusively for Hennessy·8. A pipette made of oak barrel wood and a cork holder are also included.
A keepsake brochure describing the genesis and spirit of Hennessy·8, as well as adedicated key, a personalized authentication plate and a numbered certificate signed by Yann Fillioux complete the presentation of the Hennessy·8 legacy cognac. Hennessy·8 is crafted in 250 limited, numbered editions.
The debut edition of Hennessy·8 features 100 carafes and chests, priced at 35,000 euros for each set.
The unveiling of Hennessy·8 took place on February 25th, 2016 at the Ecole des Beaux-Art in Paris, in a setting specially designed for the occasion by Arik Levy. The artist joined Hennessy CEO Bernard Peillon, the Fillioux family, Maurice Richard Hennessy and a selection of VIP guests to celebrate the event. The gala dinner was orchestrated by the French chef Alexandre Gauthier.
- Source: Eat Love Savor Photo: Gauchorestaurants.co.uk and Eatlovesavor.com