The Proust Q&A: Baptiste Loiseau, Rémy Martin

Cognac-born Baptiste Loiseau became cellar master of Rémy Martin in 2014, at the age of 34, having joined the company in 2007 as an agricultural engineer and oenologist. At that time, he was the youngest cellar master in all of Cognac, and still is, having completed his apprenticeship under the tutelage of previous cellar master Pierrette Trichet – who herself was the first female cellar master of a major Cognac house. Five years later, and Loiseau has held firm in his duty to “ensure the range’s consistency and create cognacs which epitomise the House style”, overseeing the creation of Rémy Martin’s Carte Blanche – an exclusive limited edition Cognac selected by Loiseau from a single vat. The first Carte Blanche (Gensac-La-Pallue Cellar Edition) was launched in 2016, with the second expression released last week –  the Carte Blanche II (Merpins Cellar Edition). Aged 27 years, this latest bottling has been tended by three generations of cellar masters: Georges Clos, Pierrette Trichet and Baptiste Loiseau. Just 9,650 bottles of Carte Blanche Merpins Cellar Edition have been released, just 300 in the UK, with an RRP of £350. Here, the ambitious Loiseau steps out of the cellar to take our Proust Q&A, revealing his thoughts on happiness, success and regret.

Baptiste Loiseau became cellar master of Cognac house Rémy Martin in 2014 at the age of 34.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I am happiest when sharing a glass of wine or Cognac with friends and family, watching a sunset in front of the Atlantic Ocean.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing my senses.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I don’t have extravagances – that’s not my style.

What is your current state of mind?

Demanding.

What is the quality you most like in another person?

Honesty.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

The greatest love(s) of my life are my wife and children.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Great; exception; terroir; Fine Champagne.

When and where were you happiest?

My happiest moment is yet to come!

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

To be less sensitive.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be a pastry chef.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Becoming the cellar master of the House of Rémy Martin.

Where would you most like to live?

I would most like to live in Cape Town.

What is your most treasured possession?

Old tools from my Grandfather.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My bitter irony.

Who is your favourite writer?

J.M. Coetzee.

What is it that you most dislike?

My greatest dislike is oysters.

What is your greatest regret?

My greatest regret is too personal to share!

What is your motto?

To be true to your roots.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what three wines would you serve?

My winemaker friends (and music) would by my ideal dinner party guests. I would start with Sauvignon Blanc from La Motte, South Africa; I would follow with a Cornas from Jean-Luc Colombo; and I’d finish with Rémy Martin XO on ice.

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