Definition - What does Hors d'age mean?
Hors d’âge is a type of cognac that is made exclusively from Ugni Blanc grapes. Traditional cognacs are made from double distilled white wine, this type of cognac only uses Ugni Blanc grapes and has an average cellar age of 30 years.
Due to the extensive aging process and limited grape selection, Hors d’âge is one of the highest quality and decorated spirits in the world.
WineFrog explains Hors d'age
The Ugni Blanc grapes used in making Hors d’âge cognac are very acidic and don’t contain many tannins which aid in the process of making this gratifying cognac’s superior taste. Along with the grapes and the double distillation process, the chemical reactions that occur during its aging process are also responsible for rich flavors and aromas that aren’t found in other cognacs.
Hors d’âge translates into “beyond age” which denotes the long time that the cognac spends in antique copper or oak barrels to age. The flavors of this cognac include descriptors like dried fruit, maple, peppery, oak and vanilla – all these tastes combine to make one long, pleasing finish.
There are four grades of Cognac:
- VSOP - Very Superior Old Pale, which is known as a reserve blend that is stored in the casks for 4 years minimum.
- VS - Very Special, which is a Cognac blend that is stored for 2 years in cask.
- Hors d'age - see above.
- XO - Extra Old, which is stored for a minimum of 6 years in casks.