Terroir favoured over age in new Domaines Hine CognacBy Richard Woodard
Hine is launching an innovative new vintage Cognac from its own estate designed to express the character of both vineyard and harvest.
Domaines Hine Bonneuil 2005 is sourced from the house’s 70 hectares of vineyards in the prime Grande Champagne enclave of Bonneuil and is bottled without caramel and with an unusually gentle cask influence.
Hine cellarmaster Eric Forget said the idea was to “show what the vineyard does in any year – really closer to the wine than to conventional ideas of Cognac”.
Bottled at 43% abv, the release is planned to be the first in a succession of vintage bottlings from the estate, but only when the year is good enough – so there will be a Domaines Hine 2006, but no 2007.
“The goal is to launch something special from the estate to be linked with the terroir and the year,” said Forget. “It’s totally another concept if you compare it to the vintages of Hine, that are focused on the year and a certain maturity.
“We don’t speak about maturity for Domaines Hine; we speak about the quality elements from the estate, the vines and the wine, and the grapes themselves.”
The purple colour used in the packaging of Domaines Hine 2005 is designed to reflect the rich character of the year, which was hot and sunny, leading to an earlier harvest and high levels of ripeness.
Only 18 casks – equating to 8,000 bottles or so – of Domaines Hine 2005 have been produced, priced at about £100 or equivalent, roughly half the price of a typical Hine vintage Cognac.
Initially, Domaines Hine 2005 will be available only in the UK, US, France and Russia, although future releases may also be rolled out into travel retail.
The release comes a year after Hine was sold by CL World Brands to EDV SAS, owned by the family which set up the Nicolas retail chain, and which has interests in a number of luxury goods business, including Hermès.