MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
Some cultures and countries have a real tradition in making brandy of wines like Spain or Armenia. They both have a set of specific traditions in aging and producing but at the end they produce a much sweeter brandy than say French brandy.
French brandies (i.e. generic of wines) appear in a wide variety of quality levels with some being ‘the run of the mill’ and other being absolutely outstanding.
So what is a ‘fine’? [pronouced feenne in this case].
A fine is a brandy made of distilled grape wines. Same thing as a grape brandy but it specifically separate from the other fruits’ brandies.
So when you read a cognac label that says ‘fine cognac’ or ‘vieille fine cognac’ it is referring to the term of ‘fine’ as of distilled grape based brandy. This term is only used by very old cognac brand since this was a statement mostly employed prior to the 1950s when the cognac appellation was not well protected by international treaties.
Another term you can read on old labels is “acquit regional jaune d’or”. This is a certificate issued y the local tax office that warrants the cognac has been produced and distilled in Cognac. It is a necessary for any cognac to be transported. It provides a control on the exchange of cognacs. Cognac shipments require a certificate of “acquit regional jaune d’or” and it is a separate documents used by the customs to verify the quantities of cognacs exported. Simplified, one has to produce the cognac, then the cognac gets this certificate, and after this the cognac can leave the distilery or cellar to be transported or sold to someone else. Every cognac house has to manage these certificates but this mention does not appear on labels as this is ‘old school’. Now, consumers are not as worried as before about fake cognac. People are more aware now that cognac is only coming from France than they were 50 years ago. The Acquit regional jaune d’or was created in 1929 and it was used in Cognac as part of the cognac regional effort to protect its regional characteristics.