WHY IS IT THAT THE FRENCH HAVE SUCH A KNACK FOR SOMEHOW ADDING AN AIR OF SUPERIORITY TO WHAT THEY DO? SOUTH AFRICAN BRANDIES HAVE THE INTERNATIONAL GOLD MEDALS AND TROPHIES TO PROVE THEY’RE WORLD CLASS BUT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER COGNAC STILL MANAGES TO BE THE SPIRIT ASSOCIATED WITH REFINEMENT, SOPHISTICATION AND ELEGANCE.
Hennessy VS pleases the eye with its rich amber/ gold hue. The aromas of spicy cinnamon, apple and clove with a lighter note of maple syrup are reminiscent of a freshly baked pie!
The flavour however has a warmth, richness and breadth with that baked apple element coated in a polished oak sheen. The alcohol is warm and adds a necessary heat to this entry level offering.
Martell VS is tawny with ochre hints. On both the nose and the palate there are rich fruit notes to be found – along with lovely succulence and overall appeal. The fruit speaks of orchards heavy with stone fruit – plums, apricot and peaches – tinged with a subtle spice and woodsy element from time maturing in oak barrel. Subtle citrus (lemon and lime peel) note too.
Bisquit VS offers burnished copper and gold on first view. Lovely interplay of floral whiffs with
spice, vanilla and toffee on the nose. The flavours are replicated in the mouth with honeyed vanilla, oatmeal cookies, apples and apricots with a gentle coffee nuance distinguishable. Lovely
long finish with a cocoa/ chocolate note to be found.
Courvoisier VS Light gold in colour with aromas of spring blossom, honey and polished wood discernible. That same gentle, light oak note is apparent in the mouth, well restrained and
balanced with ripe golden peach, pear along with bruised, windfall apples and spice. It’s medium-bodied with a good alcohol warmth and a touch of pepper on the tail.
Camus VS Golden with flashes of copper. Both the nose and the palate display its maturation in oak with aromas and flavours of wood shavings and deeper woodsy/vanilla elements which intermingle with lighter stewed and dried peach, prune and apricot notes. Appealing fiery warmth of spirit and medium length.
Rémy Martin VSOP Fiery amber and tawny gold colour. Subtle peach, spice and apricot aromas with hints of oak. More of the same on the palate with those orchard fruits being joined by dried fig, vanilla and caramel as well as hazelnuts and the oaky richness which underpins it. Silky smooth texture with warm, rich, lingering finish.
(Rémy Martin does not have a VS, believing its top quality components from the best production areas are best suited to a VSOP style.)