I had the privilege recently of asking Laurent Nusse, CEO of J. Herbin, a couple of questions via email about Rouge Hematite, the much-heralded red ink that was created to mark the company’s 340th anniversary.
Why red? Blue is the most common color, but Laurent said the company felt it was too conventional for an anniversary ink. They asked a few customers what colors would interest them, and a lot of people mentioned red; since Herbin’s original logo is red, the choice seemed obvious.
Why the name “hematite”? Hematite is a mineral that can be red, and the word is derived from the Greek word for “blood.” Since the ink has a dark red earth tone, Herbin felt that it matched the hematite association.
What’s up with the wax on the cap? It’s reminiscent of the way French grand crus are packaged, where sealing wax proves the authenticity and origin of the wine. Speaking of which, I should note that the company is apparently working on a new cap that’s sealed with stronger wax. (
The 300 bottles we currently have in stock all have the old, fragile wax that’s been frustrating users and reviewers, unfortunately. UPDATE: The new bottles should be available in June.)
More lore and information to come…