We’re close to an end of the second distillation of a batch of heavy-solids wine we bought from Fetzer. Sauvignon Blanc (a rarely-used but legal grape in Cognac) has an unusual “savage” (I say “feral”) overtone, especially on the palate. “Untamed” is another word. I was once shown an aged cognac from Sauvignon Blanc which had the same ferality. The photos show Joseph Corley checking to see how close we are to the end of the “seconds”, the chalk label on the tank that we make the fresh brandy into (later moved to barrels), and me smelling one of the best Sauvignon Blancs we’ve made: very clean, very aromatic, and pretty soft for fresh distillate at 71%. We like working with these grapes that are rarely or ever distilled: Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Semillon, Muscat. They lend unusual complexity to our blends. Some of today’s brandy will end up in the Old Havana.