[Updated January 2021]
The intricacies of Cognac have no boundaries. Some of the wonderful nuances that make up our favorite drink are so subtle that only the wisest of connoisseurs can claim true comprehension. But for those who perhaps aren’t so experienced, but are keen to learn and certainly appreciate the finer things in life, there’s much we can understand.
And one slightly confusing term to get your head around is that of Fine Champagne Cognac.
A somewhat baffling term, many people are confused as to exactly what this means. At Cognac Expert, we often get asked what is a Fine Champagne Cognac?
To fully fathom this out it’s first necessary to know a little about the terroirs (growth areas) of the Cognac region. This is fully explained in our article, The 6 Crus of Cognac. But in short, if we know that the two premier crus (another name for terroir) are called Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne then we can easily understand what makes up a Cognac described as, “Fine Champagne”.
Further information about this rather complicated term is demystified in our article, Why is Cognac Called Champagne?
In a nutshell, it’s a blend that contains only eaux-de-vie from both of these Champagne regions. At least 50% of the mix must be from Grande Champagne, although in many cases it’s much higher than that. The chalky soils of these two favoured terroirs create rich, flavored eau-de-vie that, in the case of Grande Champagne especially, take a long time to mature. Hence such Cognacs tend to be older, and—for some—more sought after.
The Fine Champagne Specialist
Whilst there are many houses that create such blends, perhaps the most famous of them all is that of Remy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac. In fact, this world-leading house only uses grapes from the two premier crus, so is often known as the Fine Champagne specialist. And that they may well be.
But rest assured there are plenty of other wonderful blends that should definitely be on your wish list if you want to hone your palate to some of the best aromas and flavors out there.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at what the Cognac Expert team consider to be some of the very best Fine Champagne Cognacs on the market today.
1. De Luze XO Fine Champagne Cognac
Floral and fruity, this wonderful XO has been decorated with more awards than you can shake a stick at! And for good reason… It’s simply delicious. De Luze is the largest family-run estate in the whole of the Premier Cru—one with centuries-old traditions of bringing the very best eau-de-vie to market. Today the house is headed by a young, dynamic team who certainly hit the spot when it comes to creating Cognacs that really will rock your world.
Check out the reviews on our website for this awesome Cognac. And then order a bottle for yourself. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Discover the wonders of De Luze XO Fine Champagne Cognac.
2. Remy Martin XO Cognac Excéllence
Of course, we couldn’t get very far down this list without including an offering from the most famous Fine Champagne Cognac house of all, Remy Martin. This revered XO is made from 85% Grande Champagne eau-de-vie and 15% Petite Champagne. Another award winner, this is also a great Cognac to sample if you’re interested in the hallowed (and often misunderstood) taste of rancio. It’s an earthy flavor that’s much sought after in Cognacs, but only begins to appear in those that are very well-aged.
This is a very good Cognac, and for those that enjoy sipping offerings from the well-known names then this is a wonderful choice.
Delve into the world of Remy Martin and the delicious Remy Martin XO Excellence
3. Audry Réserve Spéciale Cognac
Yum yum—a truly special Fine Champagne blend from one of our favorite artisan houses. Incredibly aromatic and smooth, we’re so proud to be able to bring Audry’s Cognacs to your attention, because this is certainly isn’t a Cognac you’ll find in your local area. As our regulars know, we champion craft houses such as this. And we do so for a couple of very simple reasons: They offer superbly concocted Cognacs, such as this one, of an uber-high quality, plus each and every purchase goes towards ensuring this fast disappearing family tradition remains alive and well.
Sure, there are some great Cognacs from the big boys, but the joy of eau-de-vie is, and always will be, about the wonderful individuality of the family-run houses.
We highly recommend Audry, so find out what we’re talking about with the Audry Reserve Speciale: we promise it’ll open your eyes to a whole new class of Cognac.
4. Bache Gabrielsen XO Cognac Fine Champagne
Deliciously floral with a cheeky note of spice, this XO from the artisan house of Bache Gabrielsen is another multi-award winner and one universally adored by our customers. Check out the reviews to see what we mean. The label is very popular in the Scandinavian countries—in fact, it’s the market leader in Norway.
Run by the dynamic Herve Bache Gabrielsen, the house has a very forward thinking attitude, with their Cognacs reflecting this. In addition to appealing to a wide market, their offerings represent excellent value for money, and this elegant Cognac is a wonderful representation of this.
Find out more about the Bache Gabrielsen XO Cognac Fine Champagne
5. Larsen Extra Or Cognac
The house of Larsen is dedicated to bringing higher-end Cognacs to the consumer, and the Fine Champagne Extra Or is a wonderful example of quite how good their blends are. Well-aged and beautifully crafted, we especially love this one for the fact that it represents some of the more unusual aromas and flavors so sought after yet hard to find. These include that of truffles, cocoa, and decadent balsamic tones.
Discover the delights of the wonderful Larsen Extra Or Cognac and order a bottle or two to begin what is sure to be a love affair with this innovative house.
6. Vallein Tercinier Hors d’Age Cognac
Ooooh—now we’re talking. Because it’s hard to believe that a Fine Champagne Cognac of this quality can command such an affordable price tag. A deserved medal winner, the youngest of the 20 eaux-de-vie that make up the blend has spent a long 40 years resting within Charantais oak barrels to be aged to absolute perfection. The end result is one that explodes on the nose, yet manages to bring a curious—almost magical—delicate finesse when first tasted. This evolves into a myriad of flavors, including ginger, cinnamon, and clove.
Dive headlong into the delights of this historic artisan house and avail yourself of the true delight that is the Vallein Tercinier Hors d’Age Cognac
7. De Luze VSOP Cognac Fine Champagne
One of the younger offerings on this list, but nonetheless well worth your attention. De Luze’s VSOP Cognac Fine Champagne has won multiple awards over the years and is a truly versatile Cognac to own. It’s definitely one that can be enjoyed neat, but also opens up a world of other ways in which to enjoy a quality eau-de-vie. Try it on the rocks, in a cocktail, or—if you want to be really fancy, uber-chilled directly from the icebox. Trust us… Such an action honestly does reveal subtle aroma and flavor differences. You just need to be brave enough to give it a go.
Find out more about the De Luze VSOP Cognac Fine Champagne. Once tried, we think you’ll agree that this a true staple to include in any good liquor collection.
8. Braastad XO Cognac Fine Champagne
Coming in at a well-deserved 3rd place in Our 10 Favorite XO Cognacs: A family tasting, this wonderful XO from the house of Braastad has also been well-received by our global Cognac Expert family. Check out the glowing reviews to see what we mean.
In addition to its deliciously smooth palate, it also comes in at an almost unbelievably low price tag. Once again, one of the massive advantages of imbibing in Cognac from the smaller houses.
Read more about the wonder that is the Braastad XO Cognac Fine Champagne and discover for yourself what all the fuss is about.
9. Hardy Noces d’Argent Fine Champagne Cognac
OK, so now we really are moving up a gear. Everything about this incredible Cognac is truly extraordinary. From the classically beautiful decanter and presentation box to the first opening and aromas that creep, like sublime tendrils, into the olfactory region of your brain—not to mention that first sip. Oh Lord, that first sip!
Part of Hardy’s “Wedding Anniversary” series, this is a seriously good Cognac, and one that has well-deserved 5-star reviews.
Find out more about the delicious XO that is the Hardy Noces d’Argent Fine Champagne Cognac, and bring a little bit of French luxury into your home—wherever in the world you might be.
10. Hine VSOP Cognac Rare Fine Champagne
Last, but by no means least, and only the second VSOP to make it onto this list, is the Rare VSOP from Hine. Once again this is an award-winning Cognac and comes in a bottle so typical of those we’ve come to expect from this traditional house. We’ve enjoyed this Cognac in many different ways. Neat, of course, and also over ice with a mixer for a long, cooling thirst quencher on a hot day.
Discover more about the Hine VSOP Rare Fine Champagne, a Cognac that offers quality at an exceptional price, and definitely a staple for any drinks collection.
So there you have it. Our comprehensive list of the 10 Best Fine Champagne Cognacs on the market today. Have we missed any? Do you have a favorite that you think should make the podium? Let us know in the comments below, and share your experiences with the ever-growing global audience that is the Cognac Expert family.