Pineau des Charentes


(Jason Brandt Lewis) #1

Continuing the discussion from Types of Porto:

Well, there is far more variation in terms of types and styles of Porto, versus Pineau des Charentes – which is far more limited:

1. WHITE Pineau de Charentes
A. Grapes
(1) Most commonly produced from Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard.
(2) Also permitted are Sémillion, Sauvignon Blanc, and Montils, among others.
B. Aging & Bottling
(1) Minimum aging allowed by law is 18 months, including 12 months in barrel.
(2) Typically bottled at 2 years of age.
(3) If bottled at 5+ years, may be labeled “Vieux Pineau des Charentes”.
(4) If bottled at 10+ years, may be labeled “Tres Vieux Pineau des Charentes”.
2. RED (or ROSÉ) Pineau de Charentes
A. Grapes
(1) Produced from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec.
(2) Accounts for but a small fraction of the white version.
B. Aging & Bottling
(1) Minimum aging allowed by law is 14 months, including 8 months in barrel.
(2) Typically bottled at 2 years of age.
(3) If bottled at 5+ years, may be labeled “Vieux Pineau des Charentes”.
(4) If bottled at 10+ years, may be labeled “Tres Vieux Pineau des Charentes”.

So, in sum, there are only six different types of PdC produced, albeit each producer’s PdC is different. Just as each producer’s (e.g.) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon differs from every other producer’s Napa Valley Cabernet – a classic example of “same difference”. ;^)

That said, I don’t think PdC gets enough appreciation in the US. Then again, neither does Porto.

Cheers!


#2

Oh how I love Pineau. White or red, but well chilled and preferably an apero for a lazy Sunday lunch on the terrace.

We had friends who lived in Saintes, so would bring us bottles of their local favourites.


(Jason Brandt Lewis) #3

Me, too.

  1. Admittedly I don’t think of, let alone drink, PdC very often when here in the States;

  2. I enjoy it in France, particularly when in the (greater) Sud-Oeust (Bordeaux, Cognac, etc.), though it’s generally Floc if I’m in Gascony.

  3. I always have it as an aperitif, rather than as a digestif after a meal, or with a cheese course or other situations which (IMHO) I think are better serviced with a glass of Porto.

  4. I do enjoy White Porto as an aperitif, as well, but that’s another story . . . .


#4

it’s expensive and hard to find here! We’re still hoarding a few bottles that came back with us, and opening them only for very special people.

(any plans to visit Florida? :slight_smile: )


#5

We always drink Pineau as aperitif, never as digestif.

Actually, we never drink them chilled. One time we discussed with a Pineau maker, they said there are always these 2 camps debating between the un/chilled…each has their reasonings. They said do it as you like, there are no rules.

I’m looking at the latest catalogue of my favorite Pineau maker Prisset Cognac from Jurignac. For them, the normal Pineau (white) they are selling are at least 5 years old, (rosé) are at least 4 years old. Vieux Pineau (white) is 13 years old, and Très Vieux Pineau (white) is 30 years old.

This is my last bottle (still under sealed) of the 30 year old from Prisset. It’s the best of the best. We tried other Très vieux. First, we can never find anything beyond 15 years old. The taste of this one is complex and round that no others can match.