Ong Chin Huat speaks to Thierry Arnold the International Brand Ambassador of the House of Rémy Martin on his trip to Kuala Lumpur for the launch of Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition.
Rich and elegant, Rémy Martin’s latest offering of Cognac Fine Champagne is a testament of the expertise and heritage of this storied Maison located in the heart of Cognac in France.
Launched internationally in October last year and recently in Malaysia, Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition by Baptiste Loiseau is a pure expression of the House of Rémy Martin and a free hand was given to cellar master Baptiste Loiseau in its creation.
There was no pressure asserted on him as a deadline wasn’t imposed. No constraints meant Loiseau had access to all the aged Eau-de-vies on Rémy Martin’s cellar. Each opus of Carte Blanche is a chance for the cellar master to showcase the best of what the Maison has to offer.
For the Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition, Loiseau started with the entire list of blends created by all the cellar masters that came before him. Loiseau identified a special blend from the Merpins cellar, where the world’s most precious Cognac Fine Champagne reserve is stored and it was there that this new addition to the carte Blanche was born.
Aged for 27 years, the Remy Martin Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition delivers spicy notes of cinnamon and clove mixed with Mirabelle, honey and gingerbread flavours. Round and smooth with a long finish, this special blend is best savoured neat.
Hosting a lavish cognac-pairing lunch at the glamorous private room of the Brasserie at the St. Regis Kuala Lumpur, Thierry Arnold, the International Brand Ambassador of the House of Rémy Martin specially flew into Malaysia from Cognac in France for this launch and sat down with Luxurious Magazine for an exclusive interview.
LM: Tell us about your background and how you became an international Brand Ambassador for the House of Rémy Martin.
TA: I have been in the wine and spirit industry for more than 15 years. I started with in business school getting an MBA in wine marketing and management at the INSEEC Business School Bordeaux. After I graduated, I moved to London where I managed a wine & spirit shop and later I moved to Beijing for another cognac brand. I developed many brands in the China, India and Asian markets. I created my own rum brand and worked for a well-known Japanese Whiskey company.
LM: As an International Brand Ambassador, what does your job entail?
TA: I am in this job because of my passion. I live in Cognac and my house is next to my office. I receive VIPs, media, clients, wholesalers and distributors around the world in Cognac and spending time with them showing them around Cognac and taking them to the vineyards, distilleries and cellars to see our Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau making beautiful experiences and participating in our festival called “Opulence Revealed” the most beautiful tasting in their wine and spirit industry.
LM: What are the different trends in wine and spirits and the different tastes around the world which you have seen in your travels?
TA: There is a global trend of people drinking less but drinking well. More and more the top-end brown spirits are doing well. Louis XIII Remy Martin’s premier XO Cognac is doing very well thanks to the long-ageing barrels. In the spirit industry today which Cognac is a part of, whiskey is the leader. Cognac is for the crème de la crème as production is limited because of the specific area in Grande Champagne and Petit Champagne where the grapes are grown. In Asia, people like smooth and powerful cognac such as Rémy Martin Club whilst in European tastes is more opulent just like the US and they favour XO Rémy Martin. Rémy Martin VSOP is popular in the US and markets like the UK and Finland.
LM: Tell us about the new Rémy Martin Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition.
TA: There are 29 cellars in the village of Merpins in Cognac, France and in one of these cellars is a single vat selected by Rémy Martin’s cellar master Baptiste Loiseau to create the Carte Blanche. This particular Merpins Cellar edition is the second edition of the Carte Blanche series with the first Carte Blanche released in 2016. The first was also a limited edition as is the Merpins Cellar Edition where only 9,650 bottles are available worldwide. The Merpins Cellar Edition is quintessential of the Rémy Martin style.
LM: What is the ideal time to savour the Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition?
TA: My recommendation as to the best time to enjoy the Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition would be at the end of a meal like the traditional way to drink cognac. It goes beautifully with a chocolate dessert and a cigar. This is the ideal way but you can drink it whichever way you wish as there are no rules.
LM: What is your favourite drink or cocktail?
TA: Without a doubt, an Old Fashioned!
Rémy Martin Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition – Where and how?
For further information on Rémy Martin Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition, please visit www.remymartin.com