The Age of Cognac
A Cognac may only be soldy when its youngest eau-de-vie reaches a minimum of two and a half years old, as of the first day of October following the harvest of the grapes.
Only the years of storage in oak barrels count to determine its age.
Once transferred into glass, the Cognac stops maturing . It stands still.
V.S (for Very Special) , also called *** (or Three Stars) is a cognac which youngest eau-de-vie is at least two and a half years old.
V.S.O.P ( for Very Superior Old Pale) , also called Reserve, is a cognac which youngest eau-de-vie is between four and a half and six and a half years old.
XO (for Extra Old ) , Napoléon, also called Hors d'âge, is a cognac which youngest eau-de-vie is at least six and a half years old.
Most Cognac houses will use Cognacs much older than those required by law, allowing X.Os to reach a minimum of twenty years old, in order to reveal their very best.
For each exceptional year, HINE sets aside casks specifically for vintages.
The Early Landed are aged in bonded cellars near Bristol (UK) under the guard of the local authority.
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