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1921-1941 | Une Tarragone

Pleasure Wine: 1921-1941 Chartreuses

 

The Chartreuse of 1921-1941, Une Tarragone (Tarragona)

 

From 1921 to 1941, the exiled Carthusian Fathers stationed in Tarragona exported their bottles to France. Their main point of access to the French market was the port city of Marseille. All their shipments landed there, but they had to embottle the Chartreuse on the spot (they were not allowed to distillate the liqueur in France, so they had to make do with a simple warehouse). At the time, the monks' main preoccupation was to explain to their customers that the "Chartreuse" was their brand, and that Cusenier's products (the man who supervised the production of the Chartreuse liqueur, owned by the State of France and sold in the country since 1906) were just bad imitations.

In 1923, the Union Agricola (the Spanish operating company created by the Carthusians) decided for the first time to invest a hefty sum of money (nearly 6% of their entire sales revenues) into some marketing campaigns. Why? Because they just released a brand new Chartreuse series: "Une Tarragone". This new appellation was clearly indicated on the label (which was nicknamed the "Marseille label" by the public) and was a direct reference to the new production site of the liqueur; a way to reassure customers, by explaining that the monks were still the ones making the product. Plus, it helped distinguish the Fathers' Chartreuse from the one sold by Cusenier.

The Chartreuse "Une Tarragone" was made in Marseille, from 1921 to 1929. Later, it was produced in Fourvoirie (1932-1935) and Voiron (1936-1941). It made a comeback in 2015, with the launch of a commemorative cuvée bearing the same name. This new version of the "Une Tarragone" was limited to 120 copies per year, made with a blend of different Chartreuses (just like the "Solera" method, also called "perpetual reserve").

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