Ever heard of Picpoul de Pinet? Some of you will have because there’s a fair bit of it around in the UK these days.
Earlier this month, London played host to a series of Picpoul de Pinet winemakers who came over to showcase their respective wines and also provide a little more insight into the history and position of Picpoul in the UK market. Entitled ‘A Celebration of the Wines of the Sea’, this turned out to be one of the most enjoyable tastings we have attended in years. Not just because these were some of the leading wineries of the region, but also because the winemakers and key movers and shakers were happy to share their insights and objectives.
Did you know that the UK now sells a third of total Picpoul de Pinet wine production? Albeit a small region in the south of France, this still represents an extraordinary success story and one that the winemakers are keen to protect and even grow. It seems that Picpoul suits the British wine palate well. ‘Son terroir, c’est la mer’ is a well known Picpoul descriptor – and a pretty accurate one at that. Picpoul wines are often described with words like: salty, chalky, citric, zesty and a characteristic tangy bitterness on the end palate. It’s deliciously flavoursome and a breath of fresh air compared to the more readily available Sauvignon Blancs of this world.
One last point – our very own Domaine de la Mirande Picpoul was, in our opinion, the best in class at this gathering. “You would say that”, I hear you shout. And we would, it is true – but seriously, we really do believe that it WAS the best in class that evening.
If you haven’t already, give Picpoul a try – it’s worth every great-value-for-money penny and a blast with oysters!