At 35 years old, not only is Baptiste Loiseau the fifth cellar master of Rémy Martin, but the youngest one as well. Having joined the establishment back in 2007 as an agricultural engineer and oenologist, Loiseau went on to finish his apprenticeship under the guidance of previous cellar master, Pierrette Trichet. Among his many tasks, the Cognac-born cellar master’s most challenging responsibility is undoubtedly the production of Louis XIII, one of the world’s most prestigious cognacs with a history that dates back to Paul-Emile Rémy Martin in the late 1800s.
For the first time in South East Asia, Rémy Martin hosted a six‐day experiential pop‐up “La Maison Rémy Martin” in Kuala Lumpur. The lifestyle event was designed to deliver exceptional cognac experiences to guests. During the exclusive event, we at Augustman had the opportunity to speak to the esteemed cellar master during a one-on-one interview session.
Welcome to Malaysia! Is this your first time visiting the country?
The first time I visited Malaysia was actually two years ago, it was for the launch of Rémy Martin Malaysia. It was when we celebrated the establishment of Rémy Martin that I got the opportunity to pay the country a visit. I was really amazed by the passion and dedication that everyone had for the cognac. We had a wonderful event with more than 100 people attending the dinner, having paired with the Rémy Martin Club. We also had a ceremony for Rémy Martin XO, where we got to enjoy the XO towards the end of the dinner, which is incomparable for me.
Since we’re on the topic of Rémy Martin XO, how do you like yours?
I like my XO on ice, and I prefer it as a pre-dinner drink. Because for me, having the XO on ice enhances the taste and smoothness on the palate. What I’d like to recommend people who are a little taken aback by the XO’s sensation is to add an ice cube to it. The sensation will then transform, and there’ll be a level of smoothness that wasn’t there before. For me, that’s just a spectacular way to enjoy the XO and I’d love others to experience it.
What is the job scope of a cellar master?
A cellar master focuses on quality above everything else. Whether it’s the quality of the lands, the grapes or the wine, a cellar master must ensure that there’s a level of quality that’s being maintained. As you may guess from that description, it really boils down to having a productive team to cover all grounds. On my own, I can’t really take credit for anything [laughs]. I need all these team players that are incredibly talented and passionate in what they are doing. Half of my time is allocated to ensure that my team is performing at its very best in whatever it is that we are doing, the other half is spent on inspection and creation, where I concentrate on the final blend.
What does it mean for someone who was born in a small village in Cognac to be the youngest cellar master in Rémy Martin’s extensive history?
I can tell you that it’s something that is truly incredible. I’ve never once thought that I’d have the privilege to be the cellar master of Rémy Martin. At the beginning, I was focusing on agronomy and winemaking. But as you may know, there are certain encounters that are destined to change your life forever. For me, I was incredibly honored to have Pierrette Trichet, the previous cellar master, to take me under her wing. Pierrette would often tell me that it’s not a question of age, but one of passion and dedication. When I finally became the cellar master in 2014, it was truly a dream come true. It’s a dream job for sure, but it’s one that comes with a lot of responsibilities.