Encapsulating time in a barrel
Now comes the long aging process that will allow new eaux-de-vie to reach maturity.
As soon as the distilling process is finished, the new eaux-de-vie are placed in our earthen-floored cellars. Some cellars are humid and others dry, which affords harmonious maturing conditions. This long maturation process happens in oak barrels the holds principally between 350 to 400 liters. Only a small portion of our production will be aged in new oak barrels, whereas the rest will age in previously-used barrels. Once the aging process is completed, the oak barrels will have given Daniel Bouju Cognacs their rich, deep, and warm color. This aging gives Daniel Bouju Cognacs their sweet taste and enchanting aroma, making them unique in personality and character amongst other cognacs. Over time, our spirits acquire the signature smooth taste that defines the renown of Daniel Bouju Cognacs.
Cognac Blends and Ages
Our cellar master, François Bouju, approves every cognac we produce
During the long aging process, a succession of events guided by numerous factors will combine to distinguish each barrel, and every year. The Art of a cellar master lies in selecting cognacs for their intrinsic qualities and blending them to marry each particular characteristic, which brings out the distinctive qualities in each blend. This Art is the very heart of our profession.
For best consumption, cognac requires at least two years to age in oak casks in the production area. The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) regulates and records the ages of Cognac.
The benefits of aging only occur while the cognac remains encased in the wood barrels. Once bottled, the cognac remains ageless, the same as the day it was bottled.
In accordance with current regulations, the minimum age of cognac must correspond to the following designations :
o ***, Sélection, De Luxe, VS. : 30 months minimum,
o VSOP, Réserve : 4 1⁄2 years minimum,
o Napoléon, Vieille Réserve, Excellence : 6 1⁄2 years minimum
o XO, Extra, Hors d’âge : 10 years minimum
Each age above corresponds to the youngest eau-de-vie represented in the blend.
Vintage cognacs are eaux-de-vie originating from that same year. (The label will thus indicate the year the grapes were harvested.) This is not a common practice when making cognac. Vintage eaux-de-vie age in sealed barrels or vintage cellars. Age and maturation are controlled and certified by the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC).
Since 1990, Daniel Bouju Cognac reserves a portion of its production for vintage cognac.