Cognac shopping

How To Buy Cognac

Looking for a clue regarding What bottle of cognac you should invest in? Variety of brands can be confusing when it comes to alcohol and cognac. In order to choose the right bottle of cognac, there are some steps to consider: the age, the designations, the label.

Cognac is a blended spirit made exclusively in the French region Cognac. When grapes from across Cognac region were distilled in one place the cognac is called Single distillery. The cognac made of harvest from a single estate within Cognac is called single vineyard.

Cognac, which has a worlwide reputation to protect, has established very strict rules to protect consumers but also to prevent its production and presentation from being counterfeited. This implies compliance to many rules beit for distillation, for stocking, for ageing or for assembly, etc.

The entire Cognac vineyard covers around 80.000 hectares and 15.000 plantations that produce white wine for the production of Cognac. The main grape variety that is planted is Ugni blanc (mostly “Folle Blanche” and “Colombard”). This slow ripening variety is very resistant to diseases and produces a wine that has two vital qualities : a high level of acidity and a generally low alcohol content.

Descipher the age of the cognac:
The cognac grades represent a code of letters printed on the labels: VS or Very Special cognac, Sélection, de Luxe (the spirit has been aged in a cask for at least 2 years), VSOP or Very Superior Old Pale (aged for a minimum of four years and XO or Extra Old cognac (the spirit has been aged for at least 6 years). This rewarding cognac and is also known as Napoleon or Hors D’Age cognac.

The designations:
The special designations will identify the specific region or regions from there the grapes have contributed: Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaires. Each of these regios produces a cognac with slightly different flavors and characteristics dependant on the used crus. The most famous blends, Fine Champagne cognac is a combination of Grand Champagne and Petite Champagne only.

The label has the truth:
The cognac label is the primary source of information regarding the liquor, the origin, grapes, age and distillation process. Beyond all legal information – capacity, place of production or bottling -, the cognac label provides additional information on the product you are about to taste, including its age and its vintages. The best quality from Cognac is written with words such as: “Appellation Grande Champagne Controlee” (Grande Champagne) and Mis en bouteille a la propriete (Estate Bottled).

Constant documentation:
Use the guides and books or check out the official websites ( National Interprofessionel du cognac).

The latest Top 100 most valuable luxury brands compiled by World Luxury Association revealed the TOP 10 Luxury Liquor Brands. L’or De Jean Martell, Louis XIII, Richard Hennessy won the first 3 places.

“L’Or de Jean Martell is the quint-essence of the Martell style. There is perfect harmony between the power of Grand Champagne and the finesse of Borderies. The aromatic palette is incredibly rich, a true marvel. A unique balance, a sensation of fulfillment, a moment of intense emotion,” said famed cellar master Benoit Fil.