Today I want to talk about one of my favorite white wines, Picpoul Blanc. The grape has been a specialty of southern France for hundreds of years and is grown most notably in the Languedoc region under the Picpoul de Pinet designation (sourced from vineyards surrounding the village of Pinet). Picpoul can also be found in the Rhone Valley, usually in only minute quantities as a blending grape. The varietal offers bright, citrusy wines with lots of fresh, spritzy acidity. It’s the perfect wine for poolside sipping and an incredible match for your favorite seafood. Versatile, fresh, and something unique and different, there are a lot of things to love about picpoul, but possibly the best part is the price. You can usually find a great picpoul for less than $15, sometimes as low as $7.
Something else to love about the one that we’ll be covering today is that it comes from a Vigneron Independant producer (click here for a link to their website). The Vignerons Independants are a group of, literally, “independent winemakers” who have created a trade organization to promote and support small scale wine production. Members of the organization must grow their own grapes, produce their own wine, do their own bottling, and work to preserve the land and the heritage of the place where they grow their grapes. It’s easy to spot these wines if you know where to look. Members get the right to put the Vigneron Independant logo on their bottles, which may show up printed on the wine’s label or on the foil around the neck of the bottle. Watch for them the next time you are in the French wine section of your favorite wine store. There is also an equivalent group for Italian wine makers called Vignaioli Indipendenti, but more on that in another post.
Sip of the Day: Domaine des Lauriers 2011 Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet
The palate is very fresh and bright with notes of peach, apples, lemon and lots of spritzy minerals tones. It’s refreshing and balanced with a mouthwatering finish that keeps you coming back for more.
If you like… Spanish Albarino, light Italian whites like Verdicchio, or are just looking for something instead of the same old same Pinot Grigio, this is a great value (4/5).
Pair this with… very fresh, simply prepared seafood, fresh vegetable dishes like pasta pomodoro or primavera, or garden salads.