Martell's New L'Or Cognac Collection Exemplifies French Luxury

By Bianca Gracie | March 11, 2024



MARTELL_L_Or_Reserve_du_Château_(2).jpgCourtesy of Maison Martell

Martell has crafted some of the world’s most impressive cognacs for centuries. But ever one to challenge itself, the French maison has recently found a way to up the ante. Its new collection, L’Or de Jean Martell – Réserve du Château (which is currently available for purchase at ReserveBar), was revealed in February and begins its annual release of cognacs that further the brand's ultra-prestige reputation.

Last December, EDITION had the opportunity to not only taste L’Or before it hit shelves but also take a deep dive into what makes Maison Martell unique. We first landed in Paris, where we attended a workshop at Baccarat. The prestigious crystal company first collaborated with Martell in the 1940s and has since crafted stunning decanters (including the latest L’Or) to house the maison’s liquid gold.

From there, we journeyed to Cognac to get a firsthand insight into Maison Martell’s history and Savior-Faire at the Maison’s historic cellars. Martell’s symbol is a bird, which reflects founder Jean Martell and his family who are well-traveled. The emblem is perfect, as entering the cellars felt like time-traveling to the Maison’s initial launch in 1715. The warm, wood smell that wafted through the air was due to a mixture of delicate book archives and the creation of oak barrels, which are made with a very precise and melodic rhythm.

The trip’s main event was the Gala dinner with dishes crafted by Michelin Star chef Alexandre Mazzia. Housed at the historic home of the Martell family, Chateau de Chanteloup, guests were greeted with chic cocktails (courtesy of Martell’s global ambassador and mixologist Remy Savage) before entering the main dining area. The room was dripping in gold and soundtracked by a small orchestra as guests found their seats among the table, which glittered under the candelabra’s flickers.

Each course was paired with a different piece of classical music, along with various versions of Martell’s cognacs, before ending with the opulent L’Or reveal. The new cognac is a splendor, with rich and syrupy notes that grow thicker with each sip. Food and cognac have a storied relationship, and chef Mazzia beautifully highlighted L’Or with diverse spices that reflected his travels. Born to French parents, Mazzia spent his childhood in the Republic of Congo. While being a professional basketball player, he simultaneously attended culinary school and worked across several French kitchens. After an injury in 2004, Mazzia left the sport behind and focused on sharpening his chef skills. In 2014, he opened his first restaurant, AM Par Alexandre Mazzia in Marseille, which now has three Michelin stars.

READ MORE: Martell Global Ambassador Remy Savage Talks The Brilliance Behind The New L'Or Cognac Collection

MARTELL_ALEXANDRE_7.jpgCourtesy of Maison Martell

Below, Mazzia speaks to EDITION about the world of cuisine and highlights the magic of Martell’s L’Or.

I think the way that you approach food is a form of art. Did you have a certain vision in mind or inspiration for the meals?

The way we write and plan out our meals is very personal. It’s like a voyage. I’m trying to bring feelings and sentiments that I’ve experienced personally, as well as the way I see life. But it's particularly this emotional side of me that I like to convey.

With each meal that I had, I felt like I was going through an emotional journey. I'm from New York, and a lot of the dishes reminded me of my favorite Chinese food or going to my favorite Caribbean restaurants. I could tell you had different influences because I know you lived in Congo for a few years. I think it was a good reflection of just your journey as a chef.

As I was saying it's kind of like my itinerary through Congo and the seaside. Spices like red pepper & pimento are the very backbone of my cuisine. It’s essential to create bridges where feelings are conveyed through my cooking. And I love New York. I played there for a long time in New York when I was 16 with my friend. It was fantastic.

It is one of the best cities in the world. One of my favorite meals was it was the mullet with the sweet and sour sauce. I had a bottle of it that I could bring home.

We can give you a bottle! The sweet and sour taste is enhanced by the pimento. It was glazed by raspberry and harissa.

How long did it take you to think of the menu concept for last night?

It's a whole lifetime, to be honest. It’s difficult to able to quantify the time. It was the creation of certain sequences. You can start with something but maybe then leave it aside for one or two days, a couple of months. Then your brain wave will then give you an idea to create a sort of alchemy. It takes a lot of time to enhance the effect of the spices and to also have a global symbiosis.

MARTELL_L_Or_Reserve_du_Château_(1).jpgCourtesy of Maison Martell

I know you're a very experienced chef, but did you feel any pressure to make the meal? There's so many details involved.

It was full of details. Everything from the way we greeted you to the music to the candles. The chateau is a monumental place to have this softer ambiance and really gives an atmosphere to my cuisine and the cognac.

Speaking of cognac, are there certain elements that make it pair well with food?

I think cognac has a sort of resonance with my cooking because it is because of the spiciness. It builds a bridge and intensity around the cognac, but it doesn’t obscure the notes of the cognac. It’s important for [the food] to bring out the herbaceous notes of L’Or as well.

What is your preferred way to drink cognac? Do you prefer it neat or in a cocktail?

I like it cold and with a cigar.

Nice, I'm going to have to try that. Do you see any similarities between your culinary values and Martell’s?

Passion in our tradition. All these people, all these wine growers who create and also the ecosystem alive through the generations. I can draw a parallel with our restaurants. We also have biodiversity and all the culinary experts in the world with us who feed into the restaurant and provide their input to the restaurant. We have a shared metaphor as well as it shouldn't be for them. Obviously, there’s different scales, but I think this is what constitutes the strength. It's not about the size, it's about the quantity and the originality.

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Photography by: Maison Martell