Picpoul de Pinet Wine Information
A sub-appellation of the Languedoc wines, the Piquepoul (also known as picpoul and picapoll) wines and grapes are among the oldest domesticated grapes in the world. While this amazing fruit goes by many names around the world, the Piquepoul wines are specifically from this region of southern France along the Mediterranean. As far back as the early 17th century, the Piquepoul grape was recognised as one of the Languedoc regions most popular wines. Today, it is still in this region, as well as the some very rare and small parcels in the Rhone Valley and Catalonia, Spain.
There are both dark and white Piquepoul grapes. The dark wines are made in other regions, but the French wines are dominated by the white grape. They produce a clear wine with slight green highlights. The flavour is delicate and fresh with a perfect acid balance. The nose of these outstanding wines has a light scent of acacia and hawthorn flowers.
In 2000, about 1,000 hectares of the Languedoc and Rhone Valley regions of France were being cultivated in Piquepoul grapes. This particular grape has been growing in popularity and more and more land is being cultivated in them.
The weather in this region of the Mediterranean where the weather is dry through most of the growing season, but toward the end of the season the humidity rises. The increase in moisture helps to plump the grapes and soften the flavors. Piquepoul grapes grow in large, heavy clusters. In the past, trays were placed under the vines to catch the falling clusters.
The Picpoul de Pinet is a cru or designation that indicates wines made only in the areas of Pinet, Mèze, Montagnac, Florenzac, Castelnau-de-Gers, and Pomérols. They tend to be sold as single variety wines as well as in regional blends. It is also mixed with Clairette blanche to create Noilly Prat, Languedoc vermouth.
For wine drinkers looking for a light, but full flavored wine, the Picpoul de Pinet is the ideal wine. Even for red wine drinkers, this gentle white wine has enough flavor to satisfy on the correct occasion. Pic in French stands for prickly and indeed when tasting this wine a ever so slight prickly sensation can be experienced. Some not quite so common or famous Picpoul’s aged in oak as well as old vine batches are available. They tend to offer a definite fuller more rounded experience vs the vibrant and fresh summer and sea food wine that Picpoul is so famous for.