AGING
 

AGING

The main intrigue consists in the fact that a cognac spirit transforms into divine cognac only after aging in oak barrels. An oak barrel is not just a container… As only aging in barrels makes this drink the cognac and creates inimitable flavour. Tavria cognacs mature in barrels made of Balkan oak, with the capacity of 300-600 litres. The older the barrel, the more precious it is. There are 6,550 barrels in the park. The barrels are used for 3-5 fillings at the average. Each filling lasts for about 5 years. Their total useful lifetime is 15-20 years. Right after the barrels are filled, they are sent to a storehouse for the years of aging. Aging is an important part of the process. So, the spirit goes into a barrel, and the cognac goes out. Then, this is all about a barrel? We are inclined to believe that 60-70% of flavour depends on a barrel where the cognac spirit is stored, this is exactly why it is kept there for such a long time. Cognac contains about 500 components, and very old cognacs contain over 200 of them. And all of them transform into spirit thanks to oak. This is oak that lets out the aromas, and the spirit gains on amber-goldish colour characteristic of cognacs. How does it happen? Oxygen penetrates into a barrel through microcracks, the spirit reacts with it and vaporizes through the barrel. Special aromas reign around. Here, vintage cognac matures in oak cradles at least for 6 years. From time to time, a degustation committee carries out tastings in order to check and control how the drink matures. Each degustator is obliged to taste and evaluate all the samples he/she has tasted… describe its colour, bouquet, and flavour. Every detail is registered in passports. Any accidental mistakes are out of question. We only have to wait… The world is changing over the years. But the peace and quietness reign here. While staying in barrels, the cognac gradually loses “the angels’ share” - a small portion of cognac spirit. About 3% of cognac vaporizes every year. These are considerable losses. But on the other hand, the connoisseurs can enjoy fantastic flavour. The most expensive varieties are the oldest. This is one of the reasons why the old cognac costs a lot. Years are contributed to this masterpiece. And we never forget that we should pay the angels’ share for each year of aging… In cognac everything is based on this magic of aromas. Only in 8-12 months, the spirit gains on light-goldish colour and becomes saturated with tannins. Truth be told, the aromas of cognac spirit (floral and fruity tones) and wood are not yet combined in one bouquet and can be distinguished separately at this stage. In 3-5 years, the spirit changes both its taste and aroma radically. Perceptible mildness and velvetiness can be felt. A developed bouquet is filled with fruity and vanilla tints which subsequently form the bouquet of young cognacs. The spirits aged for 8-10 years are notable even for greater mildness. And the bouquet is supplemented with tobacco and honey tones.

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