Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Navarre Pineau des Charentes Vieux
Pineau des Charentes is a fortified wine made by adding Cognac to grape juice. I was first introduced to it by Nicholas Palazzi's Paul-Marie Fils Pineau des Charentes which uses aged Cognac as opposed to the typical unaged eau de vie.
I very much enjoyed the Cognac I tried from Navarre, so I was excited to see they had a Pineau on the market. Like the Paul-Marie Fils, the Navarre Pineau uses aged Cognac. A six year old, 1982 Cognac was added to the wine. The Pineau was then aged an additional 30 years and bottled in 2012.
Navarre Pineau des Charentes Vieux, 17% abv ($70)
This Pineau has some fantastic, complex flavors with heavy sweet syrupy notes rushing in first, followed by the aged Cognac with its earthy notes. The flavor combination works well, but it's far too sweet for me to take it neat, cutting it is a necessity.
Mixing one part Pineau with two parts club soda makes about the best spritzer I've ever tasted. The two to one ratio mellows the sweetness without compromising any of the earthy qualities. It's insanely refreshing and very light, the perfect drink for a summer afternoon.