In an exceptional year HINE's Cellar Master Eric Forget may decide to set aside a few casks of Grande Champagne cognacs to be aged as single vintages. The vines need dry, sunny weather in the days leading up to harvest time. If the weather has been fair throughout the growing season, it is likely — but by no means sure — that the resulting cognacs will become single vintages.
HINE ships some of its single vintage cognacs to the UK after they have spent several months ageing in new oak barrels in Jarnac. These are known as HINE’s Early Landed cognacs. Cool, dark cellars house barely a hundred barrels of Early Landed (a barrel is the equivalent volume to around 350 bottles). Here the ageing conditions are quite different from those in Jarnac as the temperature is low and remains constant (between 8 and 12°C) and the high humidity level rarely drops below 95%. These factors ensure that HINE’s Early Landed cognacs are particularly light and fruity with very delicate oaky notes, and delightful aromas of fresh flowers and the characteristic orange peel — very close to the cognac’s initial notes. HINE is one of a very rare few who continue this tradition.