For those with a century to celebrate this Limited Edition Hermitage 1917 Cognac is a must. Harvested during the First World War, this Grande Champagne cognac is powerful and complex and will delight any cognac lover. Only 27 bottles are available and for the month of April 2017, each one has an astonishing £100 OFF. Other vintages available for special anniversaries or birthdays this year include Hermitage 1967 Petite Champagne Cognac, Chateau Montifaud 1977 Petite Champagne Cognac and Hermitage 1987 Grande Champagne Cognac. If 1947 is the vintage you're after, it will be arriving on our shelves very soon. For even more choice, take a look at our vast range of vintage armagnacs and calvados too.
March has lots of reasons to celebrate. The Celts can enjoy St David’s Day or St Patrick’s Day with daffodils and shamrocks symbolising the onset of spring. This floral theme is perfect also to celebrate International Women’s Day and of course Mother's Day on 26th March. All our March Offers have floral tones too - Raymond Ragnaud 35 Grande Champagne Cognac has been aged for 35 years and developed magnificent floral and rich, woody qualities. The visually stunning Pomme Captive Calvados has aromas of green apple, geranium and mint whilst the 5 year old Pineau des Charentes Rosé from Bertrand fills the air with a sweet aroma of rose hips.
Fabulous gifts for those wanting to buy something extra special with just a hint of flowers.
Looking forward to a new celebration? The Chinese New Year 2017 begins at the end of January and nothing could be better than celebrating with some warming and truly exceptional vintage cognac. As one of China’s favourite drinks, perfectly balanced, well-aged cognac will be the perfect toast wherever in the world you are.
To help your celebrations go with a bang in January 2017, we have three of our most popular, luxury cognacs on offer. All from the Hermitage range, they have been aged, untouched, in oak barrels for either 25 years, 30 years or 43 years producing rich, smooth cognacs with individual flavours.
In this, the Year of the Rooster, these cognacs are also strikingly handsome and difficult to ignore!
One of the most highly regarded names in the cognac industry, Max Cointreau, died on 19 October at his home in Gensac la Pallue, near Cognac aged 94. Max was joint managing director of Frapin, in the heart of Grande Champagne, having started his career in 1942 presiding over the Domaine Château de Fontpinot.
In the early days, his firm worked closely with Remy Martin supplying many of their wines and eaux de vie. However, in the 1950s he refused to marry the elder daughter of Andre Renaud, of Remy Martin, choosing instead to marry her younger sister. This created a major disagreement and Remy therefter refused to buy their brandies from Frapin. Max lost control of Remy and Cointreau but managed to retain the prestigious Château Fontpinot. He subsequently resurrected the family Frapin brand and in due course, the historic brand of Gosset Champagne too.
Max served as President of the National Union of Liquor Manufacturers, President of the Social Commission of the National Council of Wine and Spirit for eight years and was appointed a Foreign Trade Advisor of France. He was also the Mayor of Gensac la Palue from 1969 to 2001 and awarded with the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest decoration in France.
Frapin has, in past years, produced some wonderful cognacs and memorable vintages; they are regarded highly in the industry with their fine Grande Champagne cognacs. Max Cointreau will be remembered as one of the patriarchs of the cognac industry.
Sazerac, one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers, has purchased Domaine Breuil de Segonzac Cognac located in the Grande Champagne region. The property is about 220 acres in size and the purchase includes the cognac distillery, organic vineyards and chateau-style mansion dating from 1870. “Given the roots of our company, we are very excited to add a cognac house to our family, especially one as historic and prestigious as this one,” said Mark Brown, CEO. Sadly, many small cognac houses have been sold to foreign buyers in recent years but usually from Asia. This American investment was inevitable given the recent rise in popularity of cognac in the US. Thankfully the CEO added “We intend to continue the proud heritage and preserve its authenticity and character.” We are always pleased to see small cognac houses, like Hermitage, remain successful.
New cognacs have been arriving in our stores over the past few months. The latest addition to our Hermitage Cognacs range is an exceptional vintage 1956. Beautifully balanced with a long finish this is certainly a cognac to savour and for those wanting just a taster, it is also available in 20Cl bottles.
We recently supplied our Hermitage 1975 Cognac in magnums for a very special order. Looking mighty impressive, they tasted even better. One of our most successful vintages, the 1975 is coming to an end so if you need to replenish your stocks then please do so right away.
The Christmas winner however, was our Hermitage Cognac Café 20. It was featured in the Sunday papers where TV presenter and award-winning wine expert Olly Smith commented “this is as good as it gets and it’s mind-blowing with after-dinner coffee”. Have you tried it yet?
On Trade spirit sales are outperforming beer and wine in the US, according to Nielson. The steady growth was driven by cognac, Irish whiskey, tequila and single malt scotch. Cognac sales led the way with an impressive 31.1% in volume growth and 36.8% in value being reported during the last quarter. Clearly cognac’s popularity in the US continues to burgeon. China has also recently posted positive figures. Spirits imports registered growth in November 2016 representing a 41.8% volume increase and a 77.9% value increase compared with November 2015. Brandy was credited with being the driving force behind the upturn - yet more good news for the cognac industry.
Christmas is always a time in The Charente when the end of year figures are important, both financially and commercially, to assess the sales and market growth. In a way, the Christmas lights and festivities in the town mean more to its main industry, cognac, than they do to its people since the holiday period is only for two days and very few people take extended holidays. However, cognac is by far the biggest industry in the town and the prosperity of the people depends very much on the success of the industry.
Over 90% of all cognac produced is exported to other countries. It is estimated that value gains over this last year will be 2.3% higher and volume gains 3.6% higher. Remy Martin and Martell were the biggest winners in the market with sales growth over the previous year of 15.15% and 13.99% respectively. The biggest loser was Courvoisier who posted a 3.7% decline in growth. Christmas celebrations this year should have been relatively joyous in the town as it prepares to take on the whisky and white spirits market.
Pernod Ricard has launched the first Martell non-chill filtered cognac. Chill filtering is a process routinely employed by the larger cognac houses. It is a means of clarifying the appearance of the drink as it forces the spirit and water to mix more quickly and effectively. (The effect of mixing spirit with water can be seen when water is added to whisky as it often becomes cloudy). Young, mass-produced cognacs need to be reduced with water quickly to prepare them for market so chill-filtering is a useful tool - although it is only effective on spirits with an abv of less than 46 degrees. The temperature of the cognac is reduced to between -10 and +4 degrees to assist reduction and a fine absorption filter is also used to take out very small particles. This filtration reduces haziness but also captures some of the esters and fatty acids which are produced during the production and ageing process. Most experts claim that this filtering affects the flavour since some of these esters and fatty acids form into congeners (flavouroids) which add flavour. We do not chill filter at Hermitage Cognacs as all our cognacs are reduced naturally or over a very long period of time. Take our Hermitage 1917 for example - distilled 100 years ago.
There seems little doubt that alcohol can, in moderation, be good for you. It has been said that drinking cognac provides a greater benefit than other alcohol and scientists tell us that it increases antioxidant levels. These are beneficial substances that keep harmful free radicals from damaging our cells. According to a study published in “Cardiovascular Ultrasound” in 2008, this sort of damage can increase the risk of clogged arteries, heart disease, cancer and vision loss. Drinking alcohol may also help limit the risk of Type 2 Diabetes but beware, excessive consumption can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and liver disease. Of course, moderation is the key, excessive consumption of any alcoholic beverage should be avoided.
Brandy has been around a long time and traditionally has had many uses as it was available in large quantities from the French and Spanish naval vessels. During the battles, which these navies fought, brandy was often used as an anaesthetic or antiseptic and in one particular extreme case as a preservative. It is said that a whole barrel of brandy was used to preserve Admiral Nelson’s body until it could be returned to British shores. Hardly moderation but Nelson would probably have been pleased that he came home in a barrel of fine French brandy.