Louis XIII Art of Genius - a sensational cognac experience

Imagine being fully immersed in a sensational multisensory taste journey through a hundred years in the making of a bottle of the prestigious Louis XIII. The Art of Genius experience, hosted by Jorg Pfutzner of Louis XIII and the prestigious Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, did this in the most spectacular way.

Just a small group of some 10 guests were treated to this bespoke experience designed by artist Robin Kirsten, produced by Shereen Amos of Sugarbird Studios and brought to life in the exquisite flavor interpretations of Patron Chef of Aubergine Restaurant, Harald Brasselschmidt.

Four experience zones mapped the journey, each zone giving expression to a defining aspect of the Louis XIII story - like time and place (France, 100 years ago where the Louis XIII enjoyed on the night came into being), like the art of blending of 1200 eau de vies in the making of Louis XIII, like the finesse of flavor by 4 generations of cellar masters and finally the mastery of time – 100 years in a bottle – in the creation of the king of cognacs.

Light, sound, sculpture, art, taste, space - all played their part.

The first zone installation, black and white film, takes one back in time - 100 years. The soundtrack is reminiscent of being on a carousel (another round form) so you get the idea of joining a ride and losing yourself in a time gone by.”

Chef, Harald Brasselschmidt brought his own artistic interpretation to zone 1, expressing the young flavours of Louis XIII with Ambeloui Miranda Magnum 2010 and an exquisite selection of canapes including Chevre praline, water cress gel, cucumber dust, Foie gras Terrine glazed with quince gelée, brioche toast Blini, smoked Salmon Crème fraiche, Caviar Royale, Tuna tartar with Lime and Gin emulsion, Quail and Puff pastry and yellow beets.

Zone 2 celebrated the art of blending with a live food demonstration by Harald Brasselschmidit who also served Wild Oyster, Aubergine House dressing, Sea Urchin saffron soup, Giant Periwinkle crème fraiche, Abalone Lemon verbena and stingy nettle with Hamilton Russell Vineyard Chardonnay Magnum 2012.

Two installations framed the art of blending experience - a kaleidoscope film sequence and a 1200 string divider, representing the 1200 eau de vies of the Louis XII cognac. A glass bottle and mirror display structure took centre stage in zone 2 with 120 bottles filled with 120 different shades of liquid to indicate 10% of the material composition of Louis XIII.

Over dinner, in zone 3, Harald demonstrated the intensification of flavor over time. Dinner comprised Ravioli of Rabbit confit, with sage flavoured loin and snowy kale, black South African truffles paired with Savage Red Magnum 2012 and Blue Wildebeest, cured and air-dried, celeriac with Culaccia, mushrooms and broad beans paired with Kanonkop Pinotage Magnum 2005,

In zone 4, guests stepped into the future where last film was conceived as a window to the future with a cinematic soundtrack, fully surround so that a moment of complete immersion could be encountered to synchronise with the ultimate Louis XIII tasting. The sound for that moment was the aria from La Wally, an opera by Alredo Catalani (1892) - which is sung when Wally decides to leave home forever, so completing the experience with an open door into the next 100 years.

A truly novel and unforgettable evening with the King of Cognac, Louis XIII.