Picpoul de Pinet and Picpoul Blanc

Picpou de pinet

Picpoul de Pinet – Languedoc in the south of France

I recently tried two Picpoul Blanc wines from the Picpoul de Pinet AVA in the Languedoc wine region of southern France. Picpoul Blanc is also grown in the Rhone region of France and is used mostly for blending. Picpoul Blanc or Picpoul is a lesser known grape, but my guess is that it will rise in popularity in the coming years. Why? Because this grape makes a white wine that is dry, crisp, clean and refreshing. Not only is it delicious but something different from the most common fare of white wines we drink. The Picpoul wines from the Languedoc are very inexpensive. The wine is a true value wine. I have yet to find a Picpoul de Pinet for over $15 in price.  All this adds up to more imports for us to find in the wine shops in the coming years. Interestingly enough, it seems that we are also going to see that more California and Washington wineries will begin to produce this wine. Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles brought over Picpoul vines from France and grow the vines in their nursery. Tablas Creek sells the cuttings to wineries to plant in their vineyards. Tablas Creek also produces a Picpoul which sells for $27. In Lodi, Acquiesce Vineyards produces a Picpoul Blanc. In Washington, Gramercy Cellars and Tanjuli Winery make a Picpoul.  I am sure more is to come, but will it be as inexpensive and as good at the Languedoc counterparts?

Montmassot Picpoul de Pinet – K&L Wines $10.99

A couple of weeks ago I was surprise to find a Pomerols Picpoul de Pinet at my local Safeway for less than $9. I purchased one bottle and, when I went back to purchase a few more, sadly it was sold out. The Picpoul wine peaked my interest enough to stop in at K&L Wines where I found the Montmassot Picpoul de Pinet. I was not disappointed. It is totally refreshing with some minerality, citrus and tropical flavors. It is a fun wine, something to serve your friends and see what they think. My guess is that your average Chardonnay drinker will find this wine perhaps too crisp and acidic. Not me, I love this change-of-pace wine. Give it try or any other Picpoul Blanc wines you discover at the wine shop. Be sure to tell us if you find some that you love. Seafood, especially grilled shrimp, is a great food match for the Picpoul Blanc grape. 88 Points.

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