Pierre Ferrand Blanc Pineau des Charentes (750ml)
Pineau des Charentes is generally categorised as a fortified wine (aka 'mistelle' or 'vin de liqueur' in France). However, being a blend of unfermented or only lightly-fermented grape must and Cognac eau-de-vie it could be argued that the genre is more akin to a liqueur. The net effect is a disjointed blend of grape juice and spirit that needs at least a year in cask in order to integrate. The ruby or red styles are made from the same grapes as dry red Bordeaux. Both red, white and rose versions are typically drunk chilled as an aperitif, a digestif or included as an ingredient in cocktails.
Tasting note: Bright polished copper appearance. First inhalations yield generous scents of dried apricot, wild honey and suggestions of sweet spices. A silky entry develops into a soft, medium bodied, semi sweet profile with flavours of apricot, dilute honey and just enough acidity to keep it fresh. Finish is clean and gently warming with a hint of prune. Excellent balance. Dry, refreshing aftertaste of prune, honey and dried apricot showing reasonable persistence. 17% Alc./Vol.