Thomas Hine & Co, the French maisonfamous for producing vintage cognac, has unveiled the second chapter of its Domaine de Bonneuil cognac, an expression that is not just single vintage but single estate too.
Most cognac is made using grapes sourced from a number of growers, but Domaine de Bonneuil 2006 is made entirely from fruit grown on the chalky Grande Champagne vineyards of Hine’s own estate in the tiny parish of Bonneuil, giving it a particular sense of terroir. Nineteen casks, or 9,500 bottles (from £74 each, pictured), of this elegant, limited-edition cognac have been produced, with each label showing both the cask and bottle number.
According to Hine’s cellar master and estate manager Eric Forget, 2006 gave them a run for their money, weather-wise, before turning fine just in time for the harvest, resulting in wines that were notably fruity. To develop this fruitiness further, the wines were then distilled on their lees, before being transferred to French oak casks for a period of gentle ageing in the chais at Bonneuil.
The result is a glass of sun-kissed fruit – golden sultanas, caramelised tarte tatin apples, dried mangoes and lychees, with a chewy, nougat creaminess at its centre. There is a fine, toasty pepperiness to it too – a sure sign of French oak at work.