Growth area & soil: Grande Champagne
The Sweetness of a Ripe Harvest: Hine Millésime 1976
When the harvest proves to be an expectional one, Hine Cognac sets asides casks of eaux-de-vie specifically for vintages. The Hine Millésime 1976 Cognac is a premier cru Grande Champagne vintage, distilled on the lees and aged in Jarnac by the River Charente. House of Hine prefer using fine-grained, lightly toasted French oak for their casks, which facilitate a slower aging process where the woody notes never overtake the character of the eau-de-vie. This is essential to create a truly genuine vintage Cognac, where the individual aromatic notes of that year’s harvest should shine above all. The high humidity environment of Hine’s antique cellars allows the spirit to slowly develop, becoming rounder and gentler with age. The 1976 vintage in particular displays this exceptional roundness, slowly fading into a long finish, typical of Grande Champagne.
While the Cognac house that is now known as Hine was founded in 1763, it only took on the name of Hine in 1817. Thomas Hine was actually from Dorset, England, and had travelled to France in 1791 to learn the fine art of making eau-de-vie. After he arrived in Jarnac he found a job as a clerk in a large Cognac house and soon fell in love with the proprietor’s daughter, Françoise-Elisabeth. After their marriage, Thomas started to make big changes within the family business to develop their trade beyond France and eventually changed the company name to Thomas Hine & Co.
Today, Hine focuses only on the Grande and Petite Champagne growing areas, overseeing 115 hectares of land by the village of Bonneuil. Vines of Ugni Blanc grapes cover the limestone-studded hills, drawing nutrients and water deep from the chalky soil even during the hottest summers. The eaux-de-vie from each harvest are stored either in the ancient Hine cellars for their Jarnac vintages, or in England for their Early Landed vintages. These vaults are kept under lock and key to protect the most valuable casks, which have been selected by Bernard Hine, the sixth generation to run the Hine family business. Few Cognac houses value the individual nuances of each vintage, preferring to blend them together - but with people like Bernard around, the old tradition of vintage Cognac continues on.
- International Wine & Spirit Competition 2006 - Silver Medal
Presentation of the Bottle
The Hine Millésime 1976 Cognac is presented in a sleek, tall bottle with the Hine medallion stamped on the neck. The elegant box features the vintage prominently displayed on the front.
How to Enjoy Hine Millésime 1976 Cognac
Rare vintages like this deserve attention: pour gently into a tulip glass and let it rest for 30 seconds before taking a sip. To allow the aromas to open up further, a small dash of mineral water could be added.
About Hine Cognac
Located in the heart of the Grande Champagne, the premium wine growing area of the Cognac region, the house of Hine has been producing some of the most exquisite Cognacs for six generations, when it was better known as T Hine & Co Cognac. The estate boasts an exceptional 173 acres of vineyards, and the house has a very special tradition of producing relatively small quantities - but with a very high standard in quality. One of their trademarks is to store their vintage casks in damp cellars in Bristol, England. This way, the Thomas Hine Cognac goes through a uniquely different ageing process due to the humidity of the seaside town, which differs somewhat to that of the southwestern coast of France. These highly priced vintage bottles are called “Hine Early-Landed Vintage Cognac”.
Read more about Hine Cognac