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H by Hine VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac

Aged for a minimum of four years, this cognac earned the Gold Medal at the International Spirits Challenge in 2007.

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"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."

H by Hine VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac is a blend of more than 15 cognacs made from the finest crus in France. 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, H by Hine 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."

H by Hine VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac is aged for a minimum of four years, and is Hine's most floral cognac. It has a scent of jasmine with a hint of redwood, which gives way to notes of iris, vanilla and carnation. Delicate and aromatic, it finishes with gentle notes of white grapes and a hint of apricots and cinnamon.

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Floral scent with hints of jasmine and redwood. Initial notes of iris, vanilla and carnation. Gentle finish with notes of white grapes and a touch of cinnamon and apricots.

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