XO Cognac classification increases to 10 years
All XO Cognac must be aged for a minimum of 10 years, as opposed to six, under new industry regulations, which will come into force in April.
The Cognac industry has increased its XO age classification in order to “extend the quality positioning” of the category.
Trade body the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) also said the change “aims to align the regulation and the market reality”, since many XO blends on the market are made with eaux-de-vies exceeding 10 years of age.
The BNIC first announced the amended law in 2011, but is implementing the change this year in order to give producers longer to mature their stocks.
However, the BNIC is allowing XO Cognacs aged for six, seven, eight and nine years, and packaged by 31 March 2018, to be sold as XO until 31 March 2019.
Brands that want to use this lead-time must send a stock declaration form to the BNIC outlining the pre-packaged XO eaux-de-vie stocks concerned by 1 March 2018.
Despite being hit by China’s long-running austerity campaign in recent years, older expressions of Cognac continue to rebound in terms of export sales – recording 24.2% growth in 2016/17.
Towards the end of last year, the BNIC unveiled a new visual identity for the Cognac appellation, which is rolling our across all communication for the organisation.