France, Cognac

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
Cognac is named after the town of Cognac in France and is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name. Ugni Blanc, which is known locally as Saint-Emilion, is the one most commonly used grape to produce Cognac. The region is divided in to six zones, Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Bordeies, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and lastly Bois Ordinaire, not to be confused with Champagne, the premier sparkling wine region in north east France.

Strict guidelines must be followed for a distilled brandy to be legally labelled as a Cognac by the Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Only specific grapes are allowed to be used, of which Ugni Blanc is the most common. The brandy must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged for a minimum of 24 months in French oak barrels from Limousis or Tronçais.

Blending is very common in Cognacs, and the age is derived from the age of the youngest grapes used in the blend. Cognacs develop and age in a similar way to Scotch Whiskies, though most Cognacs can age much longer than the legal requirement due to the time spent in the French oak barrels.
You might also like to view our wide range of Armagnacs
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  1. RENIER BLANC (WHITE) - 5 YEARS
    Attractive aromas include honey, hazelnut and very ripe stone fruit notes. Soft, smooth entry repeats the aromas with moderate honey, stone fruit and spice flavours. Gently warming. Clean, persistent aftertaste of apricot and almond. Straightforward, but maintains a pleasantly refreshing ... Learn More
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  2. HENNESSY VS COGNAC
    In 1865, inspired by the decorative handle of his office window, Maurice Hennessy created the star symbol that he would use to classify his cognacs. Thus was born the Three Star Cognac, better known today as V.S. Hennesey V.S. ... Learn More
    HENNESSY VS COGNAC
    $66.99 Per item
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  3. FRANCOIS VOYER TERRE DE GRANDE CHAMPAGNE - 5 YEARS
    This cognac is a product from the house of Francois Voyer: Terres de Grande Champagne ... Learn More
  4. DUDOGNON VSOP 10 YEAR OLD GRANDE CHAMPAGNE
    Delightful Grande Champagne. ... Learn More
  5. DUDOGNON NAPOLEAN - 15YEARS
    Goes well with a cigar at room temperature, very fine cognac. Light shiny yellow. ... Learn More
  6. GROSPERRIN "COGNAC DE COLLECTION" FOLLE BLANCHE 2008 5 YEARS OLD
    This cognac comes from the blend of 2003 and 2008 vintages, two harvest that were distillated on dregs, and then aged in big grain oak casks. The water reduction was done on an 18 months period in our cellars. ... Learn More
  7. FRANCOIS VOYER NAPOLEON - 15 YEARS
    Serving circumstance: After meal drinkServing temperature : Room Temperature ... Learn More
  8. NORMANDIN MERCIER VIEILLE  - 15 YEAR FINE CHAMPAGNE
    A fine mix of Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne. A soft and balanced Cognac with a nice floral bouquet, with notes of almond and plum. "Since 1872 five generations have contributed to the elaboration of the prestigious Cognac NORMANDIN-MERCIER. Coming from ... Learn More
  9. TESSERON COGNAC LOT NO. 90 XO OVATION 'SELECTION'
    Made from the finest terroirs in Cognac –Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois – Lot n°90's unique character comes from long ageing in oak barrels, which adds richness and complexity. Aromas of very fresh pear & quince notes ... Learn More
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  10. PAUL GIRAUD 'VIEILLE RESERVE' GRANDE CHAMPAGNE COGNAC - 25 YEARS
    Soft, delicate, sweetish nose like stone fruit. Palate shows subtle, honeyed fruit, long length of plums & prunes, showing its twenty five year age. From culture to distillation, Paul Giraud gives priority to ancestral know-how to best serve the expression of ... Learn More
  11. DUDOGNON RESERVE DES ANCETRES  - 30 YEARS
    A full-throttle bouquet as well-defined notes of vanilla, paraffin, and ripe grapes fill the nasal cavity ... Learn More
  12. DUDOGNON HERITAGE GRAND CHAMPAGNE  - 40YEARS
    Very mouth filling and goes great with a cigar at room temperature ... Learn More
  13. NORMANDIN MERCIER VIEILLE - 15 YEAR FINE CHAMPAGNE (MAGNUM 1.5L)
    A fine mix of Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne. A soft and balanced Cognac with a nice floral bouquet. "Since 1872 five generations have contributed to the elaboration of the prestigious Cognac NORMANDIN-MERCIER. Coming from the best vineyards of Grande and ... Learn More
  14. PAUL GIRAUD 'TRES RARE' GRANDE CHAMPAGNE COGNAC - 40 YEARS
    A true reflection of a forty years old Cognac. Old brandy that has remained for many years in oak barrels. Its characteristics are more assertive, with aromas of rancio, cigar box, leather and spicy fragrances. Very complex nose and palate, ... Learn More
  15. TESSERON COGNAC LOT 53 XO 'PERFECTION'
    This cognac borders on perfection - finesse and complexity. Aromatic and heady that only years of aging in oak casks could give it. It exudes woody notes, dried fruit and tobacco. Very rich and generous. An extremely attractive cognac, opulent, ... Learn More
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    Robert Parker
    Out of stock
  16. PAUL GIRAUD 'HERITAGE' GRANDE CHAMPAGNE COGNAC  - 60 YEARS
    Very old eau-de-vie aged in Limousin oak barrels, with exacerbated aromas of rancio, oxidation, aging characteristics pushed to their peak. Very long on the palate, in the end sweet and tasty. From culture to distillation, Paul Giraud gives priority to ... Learn More
  17. NORMANDIN MERCIER 1976 PETITE CHAMPAGNE
    This Cognac is bottled upon request only. Aromas of Lilies and Orange Peel. Well balanced. Subtle in the nose and supple in the mouth. "Since 1872 five generations have contributed to the elaboration of the prestigious Cognac NORMANDIN-MERCIER. Coming from the ... Learn More
  18. TESSERON COGNAC LOT 76 XO TRADITION (1750ML)
    An exceptional blend of the best reserves of Grande Champagne Cognac, aged to perfection in old wood barrels. Lot 76 immediately establishes its quality at the nose: a profusion of aromas of caramelised peaches, almonds and candied fruits sublimated by a ... Learn More
  19. COGNAC TESSERON LOT NO. 29 XO 'EXCEPTION'
    A unique blend of legendary Grande Champagne, the cream of our oldest and rarest stocks, lovingly aged for at least three generations. ... Learn More
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    Robert Parker
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