About Hine Rare VSOP Fine Champagne 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 Rare VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac is a blend of Grande (60%) and Petite Champagnes (40%). After the grapes are harvested and fermented, they are distilled with their fine lees, which helps maintain the richness and structure of the cognac.
Following distillation, Hine Rare VSOP is aged in fine-grained wood sourced from northern France. "We prefer oak from the north of France because it has a finer grain which gives greater delicacy and less toast," says Forget. In addition, "we don't age too much in new oak as the wood flavors can dominate and hide the fruity and floral elements of the wine."
Hine Rare VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac is aged between six and twelve years. It has a rich, perfumed aroma, with notes of jasmine, acacia, vanilla, oak and fruit on the palate. The finish is delicate and well-balanced, with mellow touches of vanilla, caramel and chewy leather dominating. The cognac earned the Gold Medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in 2012, and a score of 90-95 points from Wine Enthusiast
. In addition, it earned a score of 95 points from the Ultimate Beverage Challenge.
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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.