H by Hine VSOP
H by Hine VSOP takes you on a delightful sensory journey with perfumed notes of jasmine, acacia flower, vanilla and fruit. Delicate, smooth and well balanced on the palate with that defining Hine mellowness.
Out of stock
H by Hine VSOP
H BY HINE
Appellation Fine Champagne Contrôlée VSOP
Blended eaux-de-vie from Grande and Petite Champagne grapes.
H by Hine is whimsical. If it were a young man, it would have the keen eye of Dick Diver in Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. Adventurous, lively and elegant, it is the ideal sidekick for daring cocktails and a flamboyant soloist when served neat with a dash of cold tonic. Expressive yet discreet, its notes of iris, fresh apricot, acacia and white pepper chime with its sprightly and joyful demeanour. Feels like Coachella in a bottle.
H by Hine is a young cognac with a taste for adventure and originality. Serve frozen in a shot glass with sashimi. Or simply over ice with tonic, cider or ginger ale, garnished with a twist of lime, cucumber or rosemary. Add as a surprising twist to a punch when too many friends show up with very little time, or simply drizzle over a fresh peach salad.
There’s only one rule: drink outside the box.
Three hundred and eighty-one kilometres through France. Four départements crossed before the Atlantic Ocean is reached, with Rochefort as the last leg. From the low plateaux of the Limousin, Charente appears gentle and bucolic, softer than its imposing neighbour, Garonne. This aquatic Via Agrippa traces its path to distant destinations, bearing eaux-de-vie fashioned by Charente’s limestone soils and the skill of the region’s winegrowers, distillers, coopers and cellar masters. Before Rochefort and the ocean lies Saintes. Further upstream, the abundant town of Cognac. And then, on the right bank of the river emerges the discreet Jarnac. It is here in 1763 that the adventure of the House of Hine begins…
The year is 1791. A young Englishman sets out from his native Dorset to learn the secrets of how cognac, his father’s favourite tipple, is produced. Thomas Hine is the sixth of twelve children and has just turned sixteen. His sense of timing is questionable though, given how inopportune a moment it is for an Englishman to find himself in France! Fleeing the French Revolution, he is imprisoned at the Château de Jarnac, where he remains sequestered for several months. His marriage to Françoise-Elisabeth, the daughter of his hosts, ensues. In 1817, Thomas Hine gives his name to this House, established on the banks of the Charente in 1763.
PRESERVE AND CEASELESSLY RENEW 257 YEARS OF SPIRITED ADVENTURE.
Since this dramatic arrival, six generations of the Hine family have succeeded one another at the head of Thomas Hine & Co. The tasting rooms at 16 Quai de l’Orangerie have seen it all, from the Great French Wine Blight to local conflicts, world wars, first bottlings, international incidents, economic booms and slumps, legendary river floods,
connoisseur parties and exalted blends. Today, under the watchful eye of sixth-generation member Bernard Hine, a dedicated team of thirty people strive to preserve and act upon 257 years of spirited history.
CHARACTER AND IDENTITY
The House of Hine cherishes a solid belief: that a great cognac is above all a great white wine. The identity of this wine is imprinted beneath our feet, at the heart of a living land that has evolved over thousands of years. Vines form the link between the earth and the heavens, replete with vagaries and caprices. They infuse the grapes with a character extracted from this unique, unparalleled place, imbued with a temporality that commands the here and now. Cognac embodies a perpetual quest for balance between consistency and virtuosity.
The blending of vintages and crus is fundamental, as it guarantees a particular style and distinct mode of expression. The House of Hine draws its identity from the heart of two Premier Crus (in a region where Crus number just six): the Grande Champagne and the Petite Champagne. In the village of Bonneuil, 115 hectares of vineyards unfurl their rows of Ugni Blanc vines across rolling valleys – a landscape that is characteristic to Grande Champagne. Limestone rocks peep out at the foot of the vines like a promise of future vivacity.
THE SHARED ATTRIBUTES OF HINE COGNACS? DELICACY, VIBRANCE AND FINESSE.
Whether a blend of vintage eaux-de-vie that have reached full maturity or the frank expression of a single plot in its first ten years, Hine cognacs share the same attributes of delicacy, vivacity and finesse, and bear witness to the complex nature of the soils in which the roots of our vines are anchored.
Once the autumn grape harvest is finished, distillation on lees concentrates the aromas of these resolutely acidic white wines tenfold. There in the heat of the still, everything hinges on precision and alchemy, transforming the work of the vine into a clear and impetuous eau-de-vie suffused with intense notes of banana and fresh pear, carnations and violets.
NEVER MASK THE FLAVOURS WITH WOOD, BUT ENHANCE THEM AS PART OF A DELICATE EXCHANGE
By entering into contact with wood, young cognacs round off their education, gaining in vocabulary and experience. At Hine, the French oak casks used to age our eaux-de-vie are selected with a view to showcasing their aromatic profile. The aim is not to mask the flavours with dominant woody tones, but to enhance them as part of a delicate exchange between the eau-de-vie and oak staves. This finesse is the result of two key choices made during the manufacturing of our barrels: the selection of wood with a very fine grain and the light toasting it then receives. As the years pass, the cognac takes on a radiant amber hue and, while always maintaining the fruit as its primary aroma, unleashes hints of walnut, freshly toasted bread and blonde tobacco.
ISOLATE CERTAIN PLOTS WITH DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERS.
Although Hine seeks to identify and isolate certain plots in order to vinify yields using an approach focused on micro-provenance and marked by precision, the heart of the cognac adventure resides in the final blending process. This is what guarantees the character of every Hine cognac that leaves our cellars. Cue our cellar master Eric Forget, who calls on his memory and sense of harmony to recreate the essence of every blend each year using the invariably different eaux-de-vie made available to him annually. So like the conductor of an orchestra reinterpreting the same score, year after year, with new groups of musicians every time.
VINTAGES AS A QUINTESSENCE
With precision and originality at the heart of our philosophy for over two and a half centuries, we decided long ago to make the production of vintage crus our hallmark despite operating in a region where blending reigns supreme. Offering liquid snapshots that capture the essence of a particular year, this approach to cognac production echoes the elaboration of fine wines and champagnes, and is only possible in years when nature provides optimum conditions for remarkable expression. With the tradition of vintages almost extinct in Cognac today, it remains a privilege of the House of Hine – guardian of the casks and demijohns in which vintage cognacs age serenely under floorboards, just a stone’s throw away from the Charente.
OUR EARLY LANDED COGNACS MATURE IN CELLARS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Another unusual choice– stemming from Thomas Hine’s English roots and the history of European commerce in the 18th and 19th centuries – enables us to perpetuate a highly atypical approach to ageing: Early Landed vintages. The distinctive feature of these cognacs is that they are sent in cask to the United Kingdom to be matured in very different temperature and humidity conditions to those found in our Jarnac cellars. This twenty-year cross-channel sabbatical infuses the eaux-de-vie with a mellow, more delicate patina imbued with aromas of candied orange and gingerbread. Comparing the same vintage aged in Jarnac and the United Kingdom is always an astonishing experience, so distinct are their flavours.
“HONNI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE”
Since 1962, the House of Hine has been awarded a Royal Warrant by Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, and remains the only official supplier of cognac to the British monarchy.
Might this splendid honour be a mischievous nod to the origins of the House and its emblem of a recumbent stag, resting firmly on French soil with its head turned towards England, saluting the path travelled?
$50 – $100