The origin of Pineau des Charentes is a happy accident when a Cognac producer inadvertently dumped a load of grape must in a vat that still had some Cognac left in it. About a year later he realized what had happened but decided that the concoction was delicious. Today's Pineau des Charentes is essentially made the same way i.e. adding freshly pressed, unfermented grape must to the previous year’s eau de vie and then aging it for a minimum of eighteen months, with at least twelve months spent in oak barrels. The Charentais do have a habit, however, of aging much longer. In this case, the JEP was left to sit for 4 years, developing a nutty oxidized flavors while retaining tons of freshness and acidity. Distilled and aged in Grand Champagne at an unnamed estate in Ligniere, it represents one of the most interesting and delicious desert wines available at any price.
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