About Hine Antique XO Cognac
"We are one of the smaller houses in Cognac and produce a small percentage of what the major houses do," says Francois Le Grelle, the Managing Director at the House of Hine. "For us, it's not about growth — it's about maintaining the highest level of quality."
Founded in 1817, the House of Hine has been in the same family for six generations. In 1791, Thomas Hine — the company's founder — left his native England in order to learn the art of making cognac. Today, nearly 225 years later, his great-great-great-great grandson, Bernard Hine, oversees the 297-acre Hine Estate.
Situated on the banks of the River Charente, the estate benefits from a south-facing aspect, which maximizes the grapes' exposure to sunshine and heat. In addition, "we only work with Grande and Petite Champagne where the soils are very chalky," explains Eric Forget, Hine's Cellar Master. "Hine's finesse comes from the terroir."
Hine XO is a blend of approximately forty eaux-de-vie produced exclusively from Grande Champagne grapes. Inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac and his plumed hat and poetic speech this XO cognac is a beautiful example of where fruit meets oak, revealing ripe notes of hazelnut, quince and mild spices, appearing amid accents of fig tart and blonde tobacco. A light complexity evolves midway on the palate, accompanied by a sleek vivacity. Mature notes of mimolette or cheddar cheese, roasted pineapple or a few pieces of orange chocolate, lingers even longer.
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Cognac is a type of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France.
Because the French take it very seriously, there are numerous rules cognac makers have to follow not to fall “short” into the brandy category.
The white wine from the specific grapes (Ugni blanc) has to be doubly distilled in a copper pot still before being aged for at least two years in oak casks from which the wood can only come from two specific forests in France (Limousin or Tronçais).
Depending on the age, there are three types of cognac, the youngest V.S. (Very Special), V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale), and the X.O. (Extra Old)
You’re welcome to check our fantastic cognac selection, find your favorite from the top 10 cognac/brandy list, or explore the Best cognacs under $100.