If you've a good haul from the red packets this Chinese New Year, consider getting something from the limited-edition Martell Vintage Collection. There are only five sets that are available stateside and each comes with four bottles of Martell Cognac of different vintage starting from 1949 to 1965. Each bottle contains a festive wish for the year ahead and if you combine all four bottles… IT TURNS INTO MARTELL VOLTRON.
No, wait. *checks notes* Actually, it forms the Chinese New Year greeting, "吉祥如意", a common Chinese New Year greeting for your wishes to come true.
The first bottle "吉" is a Millésime 1949 Grande Champagne and the bottle itself has the maxim, "吉 祥高照" ("blessed by a lucky star"). Its appearance has a copper hue with scents of fruit and spices that are bolstered with dried apricots; the palate has a rounded note of dried fruits.
The second bottle "祥" has "祥开白世" ("good fortune for many generations"). This is a Millésime 1951 Grande Champagne with an amber colour and notes of crème de cassis that moves aside for a citrus zest. A full fruity structure washes over the palate, with citrus fruits and honey.
"如" is the character for the third bottle of Millésime 1958 Grande Champagne and represents the phrase, "如鱼得水" ("being in one’s element"). With a copper shine, the nose of the contents is mix of leather and coriander and cinnamon spices. To the taste is an intense push of candied fruit and smokiness.
The final bottle "意" is a Millésime 1965 vintage Grande Champagne. "意气风发" ("have confidence") is this bottle's wish. Not only is this created as a tribute to the year Singapore gained independence, the nose picks up fruity aromas that segue to scents of cinnamon and nutmeg. About the palate is a firm expression of dried fruits trailed by a very satisfactory long finish.
Each bottle will be in a 70cl Baccarat Carafe and beautifully presented in a wooden box for display.