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According to one legend, Pineau des Charentes is not only the fruit of the vine, but also of luck. In 1589, when Henry IV came to the throne of France, a grower in Charentes, during the harvest, accidentally tipped grape must into a barrel containing cognac eau de vie. He subsequently stored the barrel away in the cellars of the lord of the manor. A few years later, as a result of a bumper harvest, he found himself short of a barrel. Much to his surprise, he found that the precious barrel contained a marvelous brew, limpid and as full of sunshine as the land of Charentes.
The Pineau of Charentes was born.
Pineau des Charentes is regulated by an AOC or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée which maintains the high quality of the product.
This five year old Pineau is a perfect example of how Pineau des Charentes should taste! Enjoy it as an aperitif chilled, on the rocks, mixed with a bit of tonic water or have some fun experimenting with it behind the bar. It also goes well with foie gras, blue cheese or with almost any dessert.
More about Pineau des Charentes from Wine, Wit, and Wisdom.
Pineau des Charentes Red
This traditional French aperitif wine is a blend of freshly pressed grapes and some young Normandin-Mercier cognac. Ageing four years in oak barrels helps to marry and mature the fresh fruit flavors making a soft blend that is ready to be enjoyed chilled as an aperitif, or as a dessert wine. The Rouge Pineau goes well with red berry fruit tart or chocolate cake.
Fruitier than the white with a greedy note of pits of cherry.
Pineau des Charentes White
This traditional French aperitif wine is a blend of freshly pressed grapes and some young
Normandin-Mercier cognac. Ageing four years in oak barrels helps to marry and mature the fresh fruit flavors making a soft blend that is ready to be enjoyed chilled as an aperitif, or as a dessert wine. The white Pineau goes well with blue cheese or sweet peach cobbler.
Fresh and fruity with a dash of “rancio”.
Available in both red and white versions, this twenty year old "Vieux" Pineau is like nothing you have ever seen previously available in the US market. In other words, it is that good.
For maximum enjoyment of this exceptional Pineau, serve in a tulip-shaped glass to highlight its color and enhance its bouquet. Serve chilled.
Red - Vieux Pineau des Charentes - Aged 10 years and 17% ABV, sumptuous deep ruby color, fine and delicate nose blended with fine aromas of rancio. Mellow and round on the palate, it offers a burst of red berry flavors, especially blackcurrant and jammy raspberries blended with port savours. Enjoy as a cool aperitif. Goes well with foie gras, melon, strawberries, summer fruit salads or tasty chocolate cake.
"The tawny / red brick hue with rose-colored core features bedazzles the eye – ideal purity… The texture is very full, almost voluptuous at palate entry as the fruit element remains dry… The aftertaste is long, fruity, mildly sweet, and pleasant; a pre-dinner drink that I’d serve straight from the coldest part of the refrigerator just on its own."
Paul Pacult, Spirit Journal
White - Vieux Pineau des Charentes - Aged 15 years and 17% ABV, very beautiful straw yellow color with glints of gold. Rich and clean nose with walnut and rancio aromas. Mellow, fat and round on the palate, it offers long and complex roasted almonds, dried fruits and honey flavors. A true and memorable delight when served cool as an aperitif or to go with foie gras. Also wonderful as a sauce base for tuna, salmon, rabbit or veal.
Chairman's Trophy, 95 points. Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation.
Toasted almond, honey, and dates adorn the nose. The palate expresses more of a roasted almond and macadamia nut quality with moderate sweetness and a silky full finish. The nutty golden hue reflects the elegant flavor profile.
"Medium deep-amber. Tupelo honey appearance that’s perfectly pure – opening bouquet speaks a ripe apricot – with air contact, a vinous / leafy scent gets added to the aromatic mix along with a peppery back note. The palate entry is stunningly luscious and texturally rich. Midpalate is alive with an ambrosial banquet that’s both opulent and tart. Aftertaste is luxury long, focused, and properly fruity; what a glorious mouthful of delicious fruit!”
Paul Pacult, Spirit Journal