Words: Ambica Gulati
Treasures, quests and mysteries, the eternal love for the hidden, the lost has always fascinated us. And now it’s time to hunt for the oldest Louis XIII. No, not the powerful French monarch, this is the Quest for a Legend for the unique and oldest decanter of Louis XIII, called the king of cognacs, from the house of Rémy Cointreau. The quest has begun from the South-East Asia region, namely India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Phillipines. There are plans to make this a global treasure hunt.
The first Louis XIII found its way in a treasured decanter in 1874. Louis XIII reached the US in 1876. What most of us didn’t know that Louis XIII set foot on the shores of Singapore, Kolkata and Penang in 1881 and by 1883 it had reached Manila. It is said 45 cases landed in Kolkata, ordered by the Maharajas of Rajasthan and merchants from Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. With its complex blend of 1,200 eaux-de-vie, this is enjoyed by a select few. I was one of the few who tasted it recently at The Oberoi, Gurgaon. This is also drunk in special glasses. You smell it from far, its heady and strong. And then you sip it slowly. Breaking the traditional myth of having it with warm water, Christophe Bourrie, Regional Director (SEA, India and Middle East), told us that “mixed with tonic water, it makes for a refreshing summer drink. This quest offers Louis XIII collectors a chance to be part of history, of helping put together a legacy, support craftsmanship and build legends”.
Coming to the history, the 24-carat gold neck decanter has gone through only four to five changes in 140 years. And there is a library which shows these changes. “This Quest is not a race against time, it is time itself that we are after,” said Marie-Amélie Jacquet, Financial Planning and Analysis Manager, Global Travel Retail Division Rémy Cointreau, who is also the fourth generation of the family.
The House of Remy Cointreau is hopeful about finding at least 250 bottles. The Quest is online with exclusive video which can be viewed on http://www.louisxiii-cognac.com and will be supported by the hashtag “#QuestforaLegend” and “#LOUISXIII”.
- Contest entry period February 23, 2015-March 16, 2015
- To enter the competition, participants in the competition must send photos of their unopened LOUIS XIII bottle via SMS Text, Whatsapp or to the local Rémy Martin office. Entries can also be submitted online at
- Participants need to provide their full name, age, ID, contact information, nationality and details on how they obtained the bottle of LOUIS XIII.
- Participants can submit more than one bottle.
- The LOUIS XIII team will follow up with each submission individually.
- The winner will be chosen by and expert committee who will assess each bottle with a set criteria.
- Rémy Cointreau International (RCI) reserves the right to make the final decision.
Terms and conditions:
- Must be the legal owner of the bottle.
- Must be citizens or residents of the participating countries in SEAMI.
- Must be 25 years of age for India.
- Must agree to absolve LOUIS XIII/RCI from any liability with regard to handling of the entry bottle.
- The bottle must be unopened, with at least 50% of original liquid (this will be verified by RCI and the House of Rémy Martin).
The prize is a trip to the Rémy Martin Estate in Cognac, France which includes:
- Two return Business class air tickets.
- Two first class return train tickets between Paris and Angouleme.
- Car pick up transfer to the Estate,
- A hosted lunch at the Estate.
- Guided Tour of the Estate, grounds, cellars and distillery.
- A tasting of LOUIS XIII and Dinner.
- One night’s accommodation in Cognac.
Full terms and conditions will be made available at a later date.
The House of Remy Cointreau was established in 1724. Launched by Paul Émile Rémy Martin, the famous Louis XIII crystal decanter was inspired by a metal flask lost in 1569 on the battlefield of Jarnac. It was found some 300 years later near the vines of Cognac. The blend of precious 1,200 eaux-de-vie, the king of cognacs is aged from 40 up to 100 years.
Presented at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900, the King of Cognac traveled on the maiden journey of the celebrated Orient Express and the luxury ocean liner Normandie bound for the United States. Since the late 19th century, it has been the choice at royal courts of India, Tsar of Russia, in the Court of Siam.