Born in the heart of the vineyards of Charente, France, and made using “the finest ingredients”, including Pineau des Charentes, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal takes its name from Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinye, Botanist to King Louis XIV, the Sun King. This visionary, born in 1623 in the Charente region, was commissioned in the early 1660s to create the famous kitchen gardens at the Palace of Versailles. Nearly four centuries later, his bronze statue still surveys the masterpiece he left to us: the “Potager du Roy”. In his honour, each bottle of La Quintinye Vermouth Royal bears the portrait of Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinye with his gardens in the background.
Also adorning each bottle is an intricate Fleur de Lys design, the symbol of French Royalty, and the bottle’s label is illustrated with botanical drawings in a 16th century style, representing wormwood (essential for Vermouth), vine flower (the signature of the company), iris root and angelica, indigenous to Charente. Initially created for its medicinal properties, Vermouth first appeared in Italy in the mid 16th century. Around the same time in France, Pineau des Charentes was born from an accidental mix of grape must and Cognac eau-de-vie. Four hundred and fifty years later in the heart of Charentais grape country, Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, oenologist and master distiller, founder of EWG Spirits & Wine, has combined these century-old nectars to create La Quintinye Vermouth Royal.
Each aspect of production takes place under the watchful eye of Jean-Sébastien on the grounds of Villevert, the 16th century family estate which today is home to the company headquarters. “We strive to create exceptional spirits that are distinctive in character and based around the vine and wines, with flavour combinations which are unique to us,” says Jean-Sébastien Robicquet. “Bringing its noble and elegant characteristics, from flower to full ripeness; the grape is at the heart of all of our creations.” Pineau des Charentes is a renowned fortified wine, made by mixing fresh grape juice and Cognac from the same estate in the Appellation of Origin.
This fortification process preserves all the natural aromas and sugars of the grapes. Produced during the autumn harvest, Pineau des Charentes is aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of one year. White Pineau is made from white grape: Ugni Blanc, Colombard or Folle Blanche amongst others and matured for at least 12 months in French oak barrels. Red Pineau is made from red grape varieties: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon and matured for at least eight months in French oak barrels.
La Quintinye Vermouth Royal is a blend of Pineau des Charentes and white wines from the South West of France. This unique composition weaves a canvas on which the plants and spices can” forge their art”. While the wine base of La Quintinye Extra-Dry and Blanc uses white Pineau des Charentes, La Quintinye Rouge blends red Pineau des Charentes, naturally providing the deep amber colour. The Pineau des Charentes provides fullness and intensity through its aromas, which are perfectly balanced with the bitterness of the plants. -Thedrinksreport