Brilliant value and zinging with lemony freshness... if you like white wine, you'll love Picpoul de Pinet!
With upbeat freshness and zero oak, it appeals to a wide range of tastes: those who prefer a simple Pinot Grigio, fans of more zesty steely Chablis and even electrifying Sauvignon Blanc.
Perhaps the name puts some off – you say ‘Pick-Pool de Pee-Nay’– but beyond its curious name, what is this Picpoul grape and how should we expect it to taste?
Picpoul comes from the south of France near the seaside and the Picpoul de Pinet appellation stretches between the old Roman town of Pézenas and Sète with its splendid fish market.
Picpoul is the south of France’s answer to northern French Muscadet with its similar lemony zing but sometimes also with a subtle floral whiff.
You mainly find it as a solo grape, but here’s a handy pub quiz fact: it’s also one of the blending grapes in the recipe for red and white Châteauneuf-du-Pape to boost acidity and zip.
I’ve been told its name means ‘lipstinger’ or it relates to peaks of hills where the grape was first planted.
Wherever it comes from, it’s impeccable with fresh oysters and shellfish, and it’s a top-value summer wine.
It’s a wine to drink as young as you can find it rather than lay down and it’s fantastic to see so many French producers sealing with a screwcap to retain its superb core of lemony freshness.
If you haven’t sipped it, Picpoul’s light, lemony and breezy style belongs in your life this summer!
Picpoul de Pinet, Duc de Morny, Coteaux du Languedoc £7.45
Slightly perfumed, ripe melon fruit on the nose. The palate is weighty and ripe but remains fresh and saline. This is the perfect example of the right grapes grown in the right terroir.
Picpoul de Pinet, Mas Puech £7.95
An elegant nose, with aromas of fresh citrus fruits leads into a zesty and harmonious palate with great varietal expression.
Extra Brut Piquepoul, Brut de L’Ormarine £11.95
A fresh, delicate and nicely rounded wine with lightly stewed apples and clean fruity tones on the nose. Instantly appealing, the layers of flavours swirl around your mouth to reveal a slight creaminess, warmth, stewed apples, a touch of clove, warmth and finesse. This is a superb sparkling piquepoul made from…Picpoul!