International Shipping to over 50 countries     |     Trade Customer?    Placing a large order?    Just need advice?    Please call +44(0) 1225 863988

single estate cognac

  • Choose The Right Christmas Cognac

    Christmas CognacThis Christmas the big cognac houses will tell you in very general terms why you should buy their Christmas Cognac either for yourself, or as a gift. The differences in taste and price between one and another will not be significant.   The attractive presentation of each cognac will, however, undoubtably attract millions of customers, but the question I would ask is:

    “Do I want to buy an attractive looking presentation or, do I want to buy a cognac that is memorable for its taste and quality and provides great satisfaction when it is drunk?”

    To answer this let’s look at the facts behind the production and ageing of blended and single estate cognacs. In order to meet production and sales objectives the large cognac houses blend hundreds of different, young cognacs, made by hundreds or even thousands of different producers.  This produces generic blends referred to as VS, VSOP or XO where the highest quality is only required to have been in the barrel, ageing, for ten years.  The youthfulness of these blended cognacs means that sugar syrup and caramel will have to be added to hide their fiery qualities.

    Single estate cognacs, on the other hand, come from a single producer who ages his cognacs in his own cellar.  They will often carry an indication of barrel age, which is likely to be significantly older than ten years and as a result, most will not contain any sugar syrup or caramel.

    At Hermitage we take the selection of our cognacs further. We seek pure cognacs from the top cru, Grande Champagne, that have been aged for a minimum of ten years. Hermitage Cognacs are also carefully selected for their individual qualities, lack of fieriness (as this improves balance), and great taste. They don’t cost any more than the heavily blended VSOPs or XOs, but they are a little more difficult to find.  Each one must meet our very high standards and may only come as a single batch of a few hundred bottles.

    “So, will you buy your cognac this Christmas for the shape of the bottle or the bottle’s contents?”

  • Championing Small Cognac Producers

    Small Cognac ProducersThe whole cognac industry began with the little guy, tending his vines and creating outstanding eau-de-vie. Today these small cognac producers, often family run houses, struggle to remain in business, such is the competition they face from the ‘Big 4’.  These 4 companies are now so large that each has a brand ambassador, presumably to reflect their core values.  Interestingly, Hennessy, Courvoisier and Remy Martin have all chosen a trendy rap star, clearly trying to appeal to the younger market.  Martell, on the other hand, has gone for a more stylish, feminine image by choosing Diane Kruger.  But what about the smaller cognac producers who use their generations of knowledge to produce the very best, single estate, vintage cognacs – who should they choose?  Surely it must be royalty – rare, elegantly presented and steeped in history.  Or do you have a better idea?

  • The Rise of the Single Estate Cognac - a 2015 Trend?

    In January of this year we commented on Ed Bates’ presentation – ‘Cognac houses should be different, not follow the crowd’.  It is a view we have always held and now it seems that the Cognac Expert Blog concurs.  They predict that one of the trends of 2015 will be the rise of the Single Estate Cognac.  Recently advocated by Hine, with its newly released 2005 Cognac, it is highly likely that this trend of making the terroir the signature point of the cognac will become more widespread.  Single estate cognacs have distinctive characters and exceptional ones are produced by the best distillers who are able to combine specific viticulture, viniculture and complex ageing procedures.  These are the cognacs we have always sought for our Hermitage range; they are hand picked and we know precisely from where each one originates.

  • 2. Frapin 25 yo and Hermitage 25 yo Cognac

    Frapin has launched a 25 year old vintage cognac, laid down in 1988 and bottled at 41.5% abv.  With style characteristic of a Grande Champagne cognac, just 1000 bottles have been produced retailing at £160 a bottle.  Compare this with our own award winning Grande Champagne cognacs – Hermitage Chez Richon 1988 which retails for just under £100 and Hermitage Segonzac 25 year old priced at just over £100.

  • Cognac Houses Should Be Different, Not Follow The Crowd

    Cognac expert Ed Bates, speaking at a tasting in London recently, highlighted the stylistic and commercial stranglehold that the big four houses have on the industry (they have 80% of the cognac market).   In order to compete, most of the other houses “try to copy Hennessy XO because the world, or Asia, thinks that cognac tastes like Hennessy XO”.  They do have another option though, he says, which in the longer term could be more beneficial.  Making the individuality of their terroir (which includes factors such as the skill of the distiller, still, casks, cellar etc.) their unique selling point (USP) would set them apart from the competition.  As the Chinese market, which thrives on the blended generic labels, slows down the more opportunity unique products will have to gain wider recognition.  Ed Bates is convinced that concentrating on quality and what sets your cognac apart is the way ahead as this ensures that the maître de chai is in charge of style not the marketing director.  Here at Hermitage Cognacs we couldn’t agree more, we have always been clear about our USP – exceptional cognac from single estates, each with a ‘number on the bottle’ to confirm its provenance.