- Crystal clear with green highlights, though can be more golden from older vines,
- Soft, delicate nose, with pleasant hints of acacia and hawthorn blossom.
- Delicate and fresh in the mouth it has an excellent acid/structure balance.
It neutralizes the salt and iodine in shellfish and other crustaceans, and is surprisingly good with rich cheese and charcuterie.
One of the oldest Languedoc grapes, the Piquepoul has been growing near the Thau Lagoon for centuries. White is the most common, though both blush and black grapes are to be found. As early as 1618, the botanist J.B. Maniol cited Piquepoul as one of the best known Languedoc grapes in his work "Sylve plantarium".
It grows in a dry climate, so the end-of-season humidity helps grapes fill out and finish ripening. The grapes grow in loose bunches, are oval shaped and come off easily. That is why, in the olden days, trays were often placed beneath the vines to catch falling grapes !
They have a tendency to develop mildew.
Thanks to support from ANTAV, the Syndicate has set up a Piquepoul development centre where of 340 clones, 50 have been pre-selected. They stem from land parcels owned by Messrs Vaillé and Pages who developed clones 176 238 and 237.
Matching wine and food
Picpoul de Pinet is not only splendid with seafood and shellfish as well as other traditional Mediterranean dishes, but also with cheese and chocolate. It’s best drunk young and cool (between 8-10°). Le Picpoul de Pinet se boit dans l'année qui suit la récolte et doit être servi entre 8 et 10°.
These two recipes – a treat with Picpoul !:
Croquettes de brandade
A Languedoc and Provençale speciality based on a purée of salt cod, potato, and olive oil : look it up in the "Larousse Gastronomique" cookbook.
This recipe is a great starter, you can probably buy Brandade freshly made in a local market, it comes tinned too.
Serves 4 people.
- 400 g de brandade de morue
- 1 egg
Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes.
- Hand roll soup-spoon sized quantities of brandade into small croquettes (fishcakes).
- Dip each in flour, then into the beaten egg, then into breadrumbs.
- Heat oil in frying pan, add croquettes (taking care they do not touch) and cook them turning regularly until golden.
- Serve very hot with a green salad or tomato coulis
To drink : a Picpoul de Pinet matured in oak.
Raw anchovy fillets in olive oil
Anchovies are synonymous with the Mediterranean. You can buy them bottled or canned but, thanks to modern chilled transport, you can often buy them fresh from the sea. A delicious, firm fleshed fish.
Serves 4 people.
- 500 g fresh anchovies
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
Preparation: 15 minutes, cool for approx 3 hours.
- Gut the anchovies, removing the heads and backbone, Rinse in cold water.
- Dry them and place on a plate. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, and a trickle of olive oil.
- Refrigerate for 3 or 4 hrs – no more than a day.
- Just before serving, chop fresh dill and sprinkle over fish.
- Serve as a starter with lemon quarters.
To drink : a traditional Picpoul de Pinet.