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Moet Hennessy

A real top of the line cognac


fnbworld bureau/New Delhi


Hennessy
Cognac is preferred in many  countries

Hennessy is the world's most widely esteemed producer of cognac, with a 36% share of the market. Created in 1765, Hennessy is the undoubtedly the world leader in cognac.

Hennessy shipments represent close to one third of the world cognac market. Directly or through joint ventures, the company employs about 2,000 people world-wide. Through the world Hennessy cognac is the interpreted in multitude of different ways, and in some countries, it has been adopted as the national beverage.

The four premier crus exclusively

Only the blending of eaux-de-vie from the 4 premier crus yields the qualities of Hennessy house style: full-bodied, light with rich bouquet of great finesse.

Total control over production

Hennessy it the only cognac house to be winegrower, distiller, thus having the comprehensive experience to support its Quality Charter.

The largest reserve of aged eaux-de-vie in the world

Hennessy has over forty ageing warehouses, which is a volume of more than 250,000 barrels, representing 88,500,000 liters or 126,500,000 bottles of cognac. It is also the only cognac house to ensure the quality if its cognac through as annual tasting of each and every one of its eaux-de-vie.

The house of Hennessy represents the unrivalled art of blending carried out be seven generations of the same family. Hennessey is the only house to have the consistent quality of its cognac maintained by the same family of Cellar Masters since 1800. Their blends are known for the full body and richness of their complex flavour and their fruity, subtle woody notes.

Hennessey cognac is indeed the expression of the prefect harmony: Beyond its position as world leaders, Hennessey is an innovator and a respecter of individuals and traditions and has perpetuated this harmony since 1765. Hennessy cognac is indeed the 'World Leader' in Cognac.

The range of cognac offered by the house of Hennessy is as follows:

Hennessey VS :In 1985, Maurice Hennessey determined to devise a universally recognized classification, and created a system, which would be adopted by the entire profession. This is the origin of the "Three Stars" cognac now called VS or "Very Special".
    
Hennessey VS is a blend of over 40 "eaux-de-vie" from the Cognac region's 4 premier "crus". Selected for their liveliness and full body, and is characterized by a pronounced aroma of oak. The initial domination notes of oak, are followed by light aromas of hazelnuts. Hennessey VS is rich and floral on the palate in taste and is characterized by a host of flavours, notable red barriers, as well as persistent hints of vanilla.

Hennessy VSOP : 1817, the Prince Regent and future King George IV of England sent an order to the house of Hennessy asking for "a very superior old pale cognac". This came into widespread use at the end 19th century and was thus created a classification that has today become a benchmark.

Hennessy VSOP is a blend of over60 "eaux-de-vie" from the Cognac region's 4 premier "crus". These eaux-de-vie are long aged in casks which have previous released part of their tannin. Hennessy VSOP exudes a delicate, subtly woody, slightly peppery aroma on the nose. There also includes hints of clove and cinnamon. This blend of cognac is harmonious and subtle, characterized by honey flovoured notes and a slight hint of liquorice in taste.

Hennessy XO : In 1970, Maurice Hennessy created X.O. He reserved it solely for the consumption of his family and close friends. With this blend, was born Hennessy's international reputation for outstanding quality. Hennessy XO remains the original, the authentic, the recognized symbol of great, traditional cognac.

Hennessy XO composed of over 80 "eaux-de-vie" originating from the region's four premier "crus": the Grande Champagne, the Petite Champagne, the Borderies and Fins Bois. These eaux-de-vie, some of the which date back to the turn of the century, come from the world's largest reserve of aged eaux-de-vie, which slumber in the Hennessy storehouses.


This exquisite blend of Cognac, representing a landmark for the connoisseur, is well developed, well structured and generous, with aromas of spices, oak, ripe fruit, old leather and delicately scented flowers. It is well balanced on the palate, unveiling strong, predominating peppery and "rancio" flavours testified to long ageing.


Cognac and Armagnac are classed as spirits and are the two most prestigious brandies made in France. Brandy is the spirit produced from the distillation of wine made from grapes. The distillation works by heating the wine, which causes the various components within the wine to boil and therefore turn to vapour. These different components vaporise at different temperatures and so therefore it is possible to collect the vapours and condense them back to liquid. The spirit for human consumption, ethanol, boils at around 75.8 degrees centigrade so this can be driven off leaving the other constituents, mostly water, behind.


COGNAC


The Cognac region lies just north of the vineyards of Bordeaux. Because of its proximity to the coast and ports customers in England were keen to buy the wines of the region from as early as the 15th Century, but because of their lightness of style they didn't travel well so they found a more ready market if they were distilled. It wasn't until the 18th Century that many foreign merchants came to the region to establish the companies that we recognise today. The Martells came from Jersey, the Hennessys and Hardys from Ireland, the Hines from Dorset and the Otards from Scotland.

Cognac is the third largest vineyard area in France and the vines are cultivated by a number of small growers who sell their produce to the distilling firms. The ideal wine for distilling should be high in acidity, so the dominant grapes grown in the area tend to produce wines which by themselves would not be nice to drink. They are also low in alcohol, only 8-10% vol. The main grape used is called Ugni Blanc

The area of Cognac is subdivided into six districts:


Grande Champagne

Petite Champagne

Borderies

Fins Bois

Bons Bois

Bois Ordinaires


The term Champagne does not relate to the Champagne region but is called that because of the chalky soils which they both have. The chalkier the soil the more suited to Cognac production. These districts may appear on the label if all the wine used in it's production is from that area or if the term Fine Champagne is used it indicates that the Cognac is a blend from the Grande and Petite Champagne which are the best areas.


Different Styles


At the end of the distillation process the spirit is collected in oak casks and is then aged for a minimum of two years. During the ageing period the strength of the spirit will reduce naturally, often to about 60% vol. It will also mellow and soften, and take on colour and flavours from the wood. During ageing the individual Cognacs are regularly blended together so as to achieve the continuity that is needed for the big brands. Prior to shipping a final blend to the house style will be made and the spirit will be reduced to 40% vol. with distilled water. The colour can also be adjusted at this stage by the addition of a small amount of caramel.

The classifications you see on a bottle is a guarantee of it's age, though in practice spirits labelled as such will generally be much older :

*** or VS - 2 years old

VSOP - 4 years old

XO - 6 years old

Our Hine Range for example well exceeds the minimum specification Hine Signature aged for 3-4 years Hine VSOP aged for 6 years Hine Rare and Delicate VSOP aged for 10 years Antique XO aged for 20-25 years.


ARMAGNAC


The region of Armagnac is also near Bordeaux but to the South East rather that the North. It has a longer history than Cognac, dating back to the 12th Century, but because it is further inland distribution problems meant that it was only consumed locally until the middle of the last century.

The vineyard areas are divided in to three: Bas Armagnac, Haut Armagnac, Tenareze

The Bas Armagnac area to the west of the region has a rich topsoil over sand and clay which produces wines which are low in alcohol, high in acidity and give the best spirit which is often bottled and sold under single domain names with a vintage.

The Tenareze area has a mixture of rich topsoil and chalk which produces full-flavoured brandies

The Haut Armagnac has chalky soil, but in contrast to the Cognac region gives the poorest wines for distillation, although ironically these are the best quality wines and can be sold as wine.


GRAPES


Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Colombard, Blanquette and Baco Blanc 22A are the grapes used in Armagnac production


STYLE


The equipment used in the distillation of Armagnac is different to that of Cognac and leaves a spirit which is generally lower in alcohol (60%vol.) and with a high proportion of flavouring. The ageing process is also different as the spirit is aged in casks made from the local sappy "black" Monlezun oak from the forests of Bas Armagnac. The finished product is said to have more rustic characters than Cognac and it tends to be more soft and round, particularly with age. The finest Cognac will always have an edge on the palate, but the higher quality Armagnacs will seem more mellow.


Armagnac matures quite quickly and has lower age requirements than for Cognac :

*** 1 year old

VSOP 4 years old

XO 5 years old

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