Both Cognac and Armagnac are soon to have new limits to earn the label XO on the product.  From 2013 for Armagnac and 2018 for Cognac all XO will have to be aged for at least 10 years.  And whilst many XOs are already that age or older, this new ruling will firmly place XO at the high end of the market.

Old cognac at Rémy

The decision to change the age for cognac was taken in was taken in 2005.  Originally the date was set for 2016, but it’s been extended for two years because experts have considered stocks too low to hit the target date.

For armagnac the change has been phased in, with XO having to be a minimum of seven years in 2010, nine years in 2012 and then at least 10 years in 2013.

With sales in China rising on an almost monthly basis, and their penchant for the higher end products, this can only be a good move for both armagnac and cognac in the country.


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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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