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The Ages of Cognac

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Age Accounts and Trade Designations

Distillation Campaign
It begins as soon as the wine is harvested and ends on 31 March of the following year. Spirits produced during the distillation year are entered in account 00 and on 1 April of the following year they go into the higher account (account 0).

Human Aging Counts
Ageing does not officially begin until the end of the distillation campaign, when the cognacs produced are entered in account 0 in the records of the BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac).
After a full year of ageing in Limousin or Tronçais oak barrels, on the following April 1st, the cognacs are entered in the account 1. They therefore have more than a year of ageing in oak.
At the end of the second year following the end of the distillation year, they shall be entered in account 2 and so on until account 10.

Marketable Accounts
Cognac brandy may not be marketed if it does not have a minimum age of account 2.

Sales Designations by Ageing Count
Traditionally, the different types of Cognac are made from eaux-de-vie of different ages - and sometimes even different vintages, according to the customs of each House.
For each of these types of quality, the regulations set the minimum age limit for the youngest eaux-de-vie for this blend:
- account 2: designations *** (3 stars) or VS
- account 4: designations VSOP and Reserve
- account 7 : designations Napoleon
- account 10: designations XO.
- account 15 : designations XXO since 2020.

However, generally speaking - and this is the case for Michel Forgeron Cognacs - each House uses eaux-de-vie for its blends that are much older than the minimum required.

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