The Picpoul Varietals

05.12.21 07:11 PM Comment(s) By Lisa

Lisa's Wine Wednesdays

As I was looking for a wine to blog about this week, I came across a grape I had never heard of: The Picpoul (also seen with the spelling Piquepoul). It is grown primarily in the Rhone Valley and Languedoc regions of France as well as Catalonia, Spain. It exists both in dark-skinned (Picpoul noir) and light-skinned (Picpoul blanc) versions, as well as a very little grown Picpoul gris. Picpoul blanc is the most common of the Picpoul varietals. The blanc varietal is one of the older white wines in the south of France. It is perhaps most popular in the Languedoc-Roussillon appellation. 

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Languedoc-Roussillon stretches from the Rhône valley in the east to the Spanish border in the southwest. It is dominated by 300,000 hectares of vineyards, making it France’s largest wine producing region. This region includes the cities of Montpellier, Nimes, Toulouse, and Carcassonne. Both the blanc and noir versions of Picpoul are permitted blending grapes for the production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Due to the high acidity, the word Picpoul, loosely means lip-stinger. It's often used for blending, but there are some 100% varietal wines made with it. 

Picpoul Grape

The blanc varietal is typically straw-colored with hints of green. The aromas can include lemon, pineapple, pear, mineral, floral notes like hawthorn blossom. The taste and texture would be full bodied, high acidity, and with a lingering finish. Drinkable right away. It is generally only processed in stainless steel and not designed for further aging. 

Red wines produced from Picpoul noir are high in alcohol, are richly scented, and have a very pale color, which has made the variety more popular as a blending ingredient than as a producer of varietal wines. Picpoul Noir produces a light colored wine that can produce discreet, pleasant, floral aromatics. For wine and food pairing with wines made from Picpoul, try spicy, light meat dishes like pork, veal, goat and bacon.

This is the only one I could find in my local wine store....

Picpoul De Pinet Les Girelles

Jean-Luc Colombo's Picpoul De Pinet Les Girelles 2020 (USD $11)
These grapes, grown on a limestone plateau are acidic with nice floral and citrus notes on the nose. The wine has flavors of apricot, lemons, and apples, and is dry! It's medium bodied. Due to the acidity, it pairs well with tomato based pasta dishes, poultry, lean fish, and shellfish. I really enjoyed this wine. 
Jean-Luc Colombo

A Picpoul Vineyard of Jean-Luc Colombo, pictured above

Well, another new one for me.... I hope you enjoyed the journey....till next week.....


Xoxo -Lisa


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