“Eaux-de-vie” by Zhang Huan
Commissioned by Maison Hennessy for the 2020 Chinese New Year “Eaux-de-vie” by the leading Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Huan pays pictorial and metaphorical tribute to spirituality and celebration.
Measuring over six meters long, the larger-than-life oil painting represents Hennessy eaux-de-vie as brightly-colored cellules that seem to float freely across the canvas, by turns evoking grapes / "eaux-de-vie" cells or fiery lanterns. The longer you look, the more each one seems to take on a life of its own. Red, the dominant hue, telegraphs the joy and optimism of the New Year.
Zhang Huan's atelier
In 1870, Maurice Hennessy created Hennessy X.O for his circle of friends and introduced a new style of cognac. Hennessy X.O is the Original, the emblematic icon of the Hennessy Maison.
Deep and powerful, the eaux-de-vie of this Hennessy X.O cognac are aged in young barrels and marked out by their power and energy, but also by their capacity to achieve a great roundness through time.
Our Tasting Committee has explored every facet of the blend and identified several emotions that were assimilated to an Odyssey through 7 chapters:
- Sweet Notes: The palate is warmly embraced by flavors of candied fruit.
- Rising Heat: The intriguing sensation of an intense, rising heat slowly reveals the complex taste of eaux-de-vie patiently aged in oak barrels.
- Spicy Edge: Perception of a strong spicy cognac note, tantalising the lips and palate with its distinct peppery flavor intertwined with a hint of chocolate.
- Flowing Flame: A wave of warmth grows, crests and then breaks. A robust presence, full and voluptuous, is felt.
- Chocolate Lull: There is the gradual discovery of something very familiar. It is the well-rounded flavor of a rich, dark chocolate.
- Wood Crunches: A striking sensation is suddenly felt – the vigorous ebb and flow of oak notes interlaced with vanilla.
- Infinite Echo: The evanescent oak notes leave a long, omnipresent finish in their wake. Seemingly endless, it echoes all of the subtleties of each taste and sensation that has preceded it.