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The Nose Knows

Passing on a cellar master's secrets.

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Pierrette Trichet is not the kind of woman who walks with her nose stuck up in the air. In  fact, most of the time, her nose is bent over a glass of cognac. As the first and only female cellar master at a major cognac house, it is Trichet’s responsibility at Rémy Martin to select the best eaux-de-vie (chosen by said nose), which will make up the components of Louis XIII, often called the king of cognac.

Trichet, 55, who has been working for the prestigious house for 30 years, first worked for Rémy Martin’s owner Andre Heriard Dubreuil’s research laboratory, and then joined the tasting commission before she was entrusted by the previous cellar master, Georges Clot, to look after the Louis XIII exceptional blends.

It takes 40 to 100 years and three generations to create a bottle of Louis XIII, and Trichet is now preparing the future cognac, passing her knowledge onto the next-generation cellar master.


WWDScoop: Which smell is your favorite to taste?
Pierrette Trichet: The smell of figs, because it reminds me of my mom’s fig marmalade.

WWDScoop: Which is the best eau-de-vie you’ve ever tasted?
P.T.: Lately, I thought the 2007 eau-de-vie was magnificent. It has wonderful william pear aromas, I’m saving it for a future Louis XIII blend. And the 1989 Rémy Martin vintage cognac we recently introduced in Aspen is quite wonderful.

WWDScoop: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
P.T.: ‘You make it just like us.’ After I was accepted to make the Louis XIII by my predecessors.

WWDScoop: Was your job harder because you are a woman?
P.T.: The aim is to keep the quality the same over the years, being a man or a woman does not make a difference.

WWDScoop:
What is the biggest inconvenience in your job?
P.T.: I must stay away from catching a cold.

WWDScoop: What do you do to preserve your nose?
P.T.: I do a lot of walking outside to fill my lungs with fresh air and I don’t eat too spicy. Which I miss, because I love spicy food.

WWDScoop: What’s your best advice for apprentice cellar masters?
P.T.: Don’t smoke!


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