Pineau is a special product from the Cognac region. It’s a fortified wine or liqueur wine like sherry or port wine. Pineau (des Charentes is the river in Cognac region) is made from grape juice or must, with some cognac added to reach 17% ABV. Matured in oak casks for several months or years. It’s quite an unique product of this part of Europe, I have seen only two bottles on sale in Estonia, both of them are from L’Heraud cognac house. Also many other Cognac houses are producing Pineau. Most of the produced Pineau is consumed in France. A 75cl bottle of Pineau Black was discounted to 7.95€ in Estonia, but it can also cost several tens euros.
It’s sweet, tastes like grape juice but with an alcohol touch and plenty of influence from oak. Sweetness is around the same as with ruby port wines, also it has kind of the same juicy taste. But it’s something else than vodka mixed with grape juice. Taste is deeper, matured and has the same kind of nuances with cognac. Leather, oak, grape skin and seeds, slight taste of copper pot still. Pineau is best enjoyed neatly. Mixed with water, the delicate aromas are diluted too much. It’s a nice new genre to try, at least if sherrys and port wines are your case. I will surely buy another bottle if I can find it somewhere.