Cognac’s hinterland beyond XO is one of great variation, but with the common thread of aged eaux-de-vie that have often spent many decades in cask. These are highly sought-after Cognacs for the top end of the market, characterised by that almost indefinable ‘rancio’ character that only comes with great age. Vintages also inhabit this part of the market, but not always. These are Cognacs that run counter to the dominant local technique of blending, expressing the character of an individual harvest in a way that is reminiscent of fine wine.
Family-owned Giboin owns 14 hectares of vines in the Borderies enclave, plus another 8ha at Apremont, south of Angoulême in the far east of Fins Bois. Here there is chalk, limestone and flint, elevating the quality of the eaux-de-vie with an uncommon level of elegance and finesse. François Giboin sells a healthy proportion of his production to Courvoisier, but has set aside a couple of barrels from each harvest since 1994 for bottling as a vintage.
Serving Suggestions: One to savour while appreciating that Grande Champagne doesn’t have a monopoly on fine Cognac.
Soft, velvety and eminently approachable, this is nonetheless a Cognac of some depth and complexity, with mature flavours of leather and spice (nutmeg, ginger) alongside an aromatic floral lift. More than a hint of Grande/Petite Champagne quality, for all its more ‘humble’ origins in Fins Bois.