Pineau des Charentes

or Pineau Charentais

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Pineau des Charentes or Pineau Charentais is the vin de liqueur of the Cognac region and has enjoyed some réclame in France as a strong, sweet aperitif more likely to be the product of an artisan than of big business. It is made by adding at least year-old cognac, which in practice usually means year-old cognac, straight from the cask to must that is just about to ferment, thereby producing what is effectively a mixture of grape juice and brandy. The style most often encountered outside France is pale gold, decidedly sweet, and with young spirit much in evidence but there are many subtler examples, including soft, fruity rosé styles made from the same grapes as red bordeaux. See also floc de gascogne.