Home Wine Regions French Wine Picpoul de Pinet for Wine Blogging Wednesday 46

Simply put, Picpoul is my favorite white varietal; specifically, Picpoul de Pinet from Coteaux du Languedoc in France.  Since discovering it I almost don’t want to try any other white wine for I have found the one that I love.  This is an absolutely delightful varietal.  It’s light, dry, minerally, acidic… it’s everything I want from a white wine.

I’ve been wanting to highlight Picpoul de Pinet and when DrDebs at Good Wine Under $20 announced the theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday #46 I knew this was the right time.  And the theme is White Rhone Varietals from Anywhere.

For those who stumble across this article and don’t know what Wine Blogging Wednesday is, it’s an event that occurs once every month when wine bloggers from around the world all write about a common theme.  It’s a lot of fun and an opportunity to discover some great wines that you might not otherwise try.  I hope to share just that with you today.

Picpoul is a varietal that originated in southern France and is often used as a component in blends versus bottled as a single varietal.  It is known for its high acidity which makes it an excellent wine to pair with shellfish — oysters are a popular choice with Picpoul.  It is also an excellent choice with rich, soft cheeses.

The Picpoul de Pinet terroir is the largest white wine producing region in Coteaux du Languedoc.  Rather than spending my time rehashing the details, I’ll direct you to the Picpoul de Pinet site to read all about the terroir.  They’ve done a great job.

In addition to being consistently a great white wine, another consistency I’ve noticed is that the producers all seem to use the same bottle design.  See the designs on the neck of the bottles pictured below.  So you can quickly identify this varietal on the shelf when you see the bottle.

It is sick how much I enjoy this wine.  It is the most crisp and refreshing white varietal I have ever tasted.  I tried Picpoul de Pinet from two different producers for this Wine Blogging Wednesday and they were both excellent.

Le Jade Picpoul de Pinet

Le Jade Picpoul de Pinet

At times Picpoul can be a bit too acidic, but this one is just right.  And it has surprising complexity for a $9 bottle of wine. 

The nose is a full bouquet of tropical delights.  There’s a bit of grapefruit, some pineapple, and lime.  Yes, those are all acidic fruits, but trust me… it’s not too acidic.  The palate on this has a gentle pineapple and lime flavor with really nice mineral undertones.  The finish is rather long and is very minerally.

I enjoyed this with some garlic butter drenched escargot and some pan bigio bread with soft ripened fromage triple-crème.  It was delightful, but I found myself wishing I had picked up the lobster I was eyeing in the market.

Wine: Le Jade
Varietal: Picpoul de Pinet
Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 12.5%
Rating: 89
Price Paid: $8.99

Hugues Beaulieu

Hugues Beauliue

The nose on this one has a good bit of pear, pineapple, acidic lime, floral aromas and a rich mineral aroma that has a slightly petrol aspect to it.  The flavor is delicate, crisp and refreshing.  It has a good bit of acidic lime flavor, but by no means will it make you wince.  The mineral flavors come through like a wet rock.  The aftertaste is pear and mineral, and it lasts exceptionally long.  It earned a solid 90 rating.

Simply put, this is an extraordinary value at $9.99.  I enjoyed it with charcoal grilled garlic shrimp, flounder with spinach sauteed in olive oil with lemon & garlic, and grilled neo-Tuscan bread dipped in olive oil.  Is your mouth watering yet?

Wine: Hugues Beaulieu
Varietal: Picpoul de Pinet
Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 12.5%
Rating: 90
Price Paid: $9.99

It is unlikely that you’ll find these wines in your local grocery store.  You’ll need to visit a wine shop, and even there they may only have one or two to pick from.

Learn more about Picpoul

12 replies to this post
  1. Nice notes, Tim. I have to admit that Picpoul has been off my radar for a long time. I’ve enjoyed it in the past, though perhaps not as ebulliently as yourself. Now I think it’s time to pay it a revisit, especially given its still usual super price point in the face of the wilting dollar.

  2. Excellent review of the Lip-Stinger. I like Picpoul de Pinet, too, and have enjoyed Bonny Doon’s domestic version, too. Thanks so much for participating!

  3. I recently tried a Picpoul de Pinet from France with very nice citrus and lemongrass flavors. I could easily call it my new favorite white wine varietal…if I can ever find it again. Based on your excellent review, I am going to try the two featured wines and see how they compare!

  4. yes.. I finally got this wine outside of France – searching it for years (really!).. one of the best white ones I know (from my holidays in that region) and perfect for pasta and these things.

  5. Where can I buy Picpoul de Pinet from the (Coteaux de Languedoc? that’s the appellation.)

    in the USA

  6. I fully agree, this is wonderful wine, we started drinking Picpoul after a visit to Montpelier in Feb 2001, when the local wine store price was under $8.00, great value then, and still a steal under $10.00 today.

  7. I discovered this wine in Charleston SC at a great little called Caviar and Bananas. Have bought several bottles and love it.

  8. This Languedoc is served as the house wine at Inn at Little Washington–just a note. One of the finest restaurants in the country.

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