FROM ENGLAND TO FRANCE
Back in 1550, the Hine family lived in Beaminster, Dorset, on the south coast of England. The family's great cognac journey was to begin in the 18th century: Thomas Hine, a linen merchant, decided to send his son Thomas (one of 11 children) to France to learn French and the art of making cognac. At age 16, Thomas left his family home and headed for France, setting foot in Nantes in 1791. He then traveled to Bordeaux, where he stayed for a while before continuing to Jarnac, a small town just east of Cognac. Since 1763, Jarnac had been the base for the négociant's premises where Thomas was to create his father's favorite cognac. Not long after his arrival, Thomas Hine made the acquaintance of Elisabeth, the daughter of a famous cognac négociant, and fell in love. In 1796, at the age of 21, Thomas married Elisabeth and went on to have four children.
THE HINE FAMILY LEGACY BEGINS
Thomas Hine earned a reputation for being a serious, hard worker, and his in-depth knowledge of finance and business, good commercial sense, and French and English skills gave him special status. He expanded what was to become the traditional business of the HINE company: making bespoke cognacs for English wine merchants. When his father-in-law died, his mother-in-law chose Thomas — rather than one of her own sons — to take charge of the family cognac business. In 1817, Thomas gave his name to the company: Thomas Hine & Co. Just five years later he died of pneumonia at the age of 47, 30 years after he first arrived in Jarnac. His eldest son, Thomas Georges, just old enough to take over the reins of the company, succeeded him, thus continuing the extraordinary story of the Hine family and HINE cognac.
INNOVATING WITH COGNAC
Robert Hine, fifth generation (and father to Bernard Hine, the current HINE honorary chairman) worked alongside his father in the company during the 1930's. Robert and his brother François led HINE to start shipping cognacs in bottles. Such commercial decisions were made in the inner family circle, and the young Bernard remembers his grandfather's opposition to this progressive idea. But Robert and François decided to go ahead and bottle HINE's young cognacs: after all, the trend had been set by Thomas back in 1821 when he shipped glass flasks of cognac to England, long before bottling had become the norm.
A Fine Champagne blend of over 20 cognacs. More than 50% are from grapes grown in the Grande Champagne, and the remainder are from the Petite Champagne. 40% ABV
TASTING NOTES: Harmonious and delicate
BOUQUET: Candied apricot, ripe peaches, honey, fresh orange, roasted apples
PALATE: No wood flavors, broad aromatic profile and velvety mouthfeel
FINISH: Smooth and long
92 POINTS | Wine Enthusiast 2019
SILVER MEDAL | New York World Wine & Spirits Competition 2018
DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL, BEST COGNAC | WSWA Tasting Competition 201