Cheat sheet of the Cognac crus
Lars Peterson from Atlanta, Ga writes a very kind email and asks me about the different Cognac crus. There are a few pages on the subject elsewhere at Le Cognac, but let me give you an emergency cheat sheet.
Cognac is a brandy, a distillate of wine, made from white grapes (most of them of the Ugni Blanc variety) that are grown in a specifically defined region between the two Charente departments and part of the Deux Sevres region, in South west France. The region is divided into several terroirs, determined by the characteristics of the terroir or cru, often reflected in the final product labels.
The Grande Champagne cru comes from around Segonzac. It produces a particularly fine cognac and is often referred to as premier cru de cognac quality.
Borderies, which extends around the city of Burie (northwest of Cognac) is the smallest cru area: its eaux-de-vie contain rich flowery aromas and is reputed to be the most popular among the ladies.
Fins Bois, in my opinion, can be considered the greatest and most surprising thought. Geographically, it roughly encircles the other three and covers a terroire defined by the triangle formed by Matha, Rouillac and Pons. Its flavors are rich, solid and strong with a hint of maritime climate. As for the Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaries, they are strongly influenced by the climate of the Atlantic Ocean. They participate less in the production of Cognac, but they still provide very interesting eaux-de-vie.
The price of a hectare of vineyard varies considerably with location. Grande Champagne being significantly. More expensive than the others.