During these hot days of summer, I’m always on the prowl for crisp, refreshing whites and rosés. As I perused the shelves the other day, I came across a distinctively shaped bottle: tall and slender with the cross of Languedoc embossed on the neck.
This special bottle is indicative of the largest white producing area in the Languedoc region of Southern France – Picpoul de Pinet.
A ‘Crus’ of the Coteaux de Languedoc, the area is named after the varietal Picpoul Blanc (aka Piquepoul Blanc or “Lip Stinger”) which has grown in these vineyards since at least the 17th century.
The 3000 acres of vines are divided into two areas by a famous ancient Roman road called the “Via Domitienne” which, during that era connected the capital of Rome to Spain. Vineyards to the north are limestone, giving the grapes terrific acidity while those to the south lie on more flat, sandy deposits where the heat is tempered by Mediterranean breezes.
2011 La Domitienne Pique Poul, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc
Bright and lively with aromas of ripe peaches, softly scented white blossoms and sea-spray, the palate shows deep lemon peel and touches of blanched almond all wrapped up with a refreshing saline minerality and bracing acidity.
Naturally, the wine would be perfect with seafood and shellfish or perhaps a crisp salad but at our house the wine was paired with music – in vinyl form; Boomtown Rats “A Tonic for the Troops” and Audience “Lunch”.
Wine lover, educator and writer.