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Home | White Varieties | Piquepoul Blanc - the Lip Stinger




Piquepoul Blanc - the "Lip Stinger"

This French native has been around for centuries however, as with so many lesser known grape varieties, wine made from this white varietal is beginning to see a little more visibility on the shelves of local wine stores.  The grape, pronounced peek-pool, also grows in a red (Picpoul Noir) and Picpoul Gris although these varieties are even less common – France has fewer than 10 acres of vineyards planted with Picpoul Gris.  Picpoul's primary use is as a blending grape, being one of the permitted grapes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  The grape produces a very light and acidic wine, so much so that the literal translation is “lip stinger”.

Where is Picpoul Grown?

France - Picpoul Blanc's home is in the Languedoc wine region in southern France although the grape is also grown in the Rhone Valley.  The most prestigious area for Picpoul is the Appellation d'Origine Controlee of Picpoul de Pinet, a small sub region of the larger Coteaux de Languedoc with over 3,000 acres of Picpoul Blanc vineyards.



The AOC runs along the southern French coast southwest from Montpelier to near Beziers.  The climate is Mediterranean, and the grape does surprisingly well in the long hot summers.





Producers to look for: Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue, Domaine La Grangette, Hugues Beaulieu and Les Vignobles Montagnac.


United States – The only producer of Picpoul in the United States is Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, California.  In 2000, the winery planted one acre of Picpoul Blanc which was first harvested in 2003.  Since then additional acreage has been added with the commercial success of the grape.  The grape is commonly blended with Roussanne and Grenache Blanc although in some years a single variety bottling is produced.

Producers to look for: Tablas Creek

Picpoul Blanc Styles

Picpoul Blanc is known for being bone dry, with bright acidity, minerality, and lemon flavors.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel or neutral barrels, insuring the preservation of the natural acidity. The wine pairs well with any light seafood, scallops, oysters or shrimp.  The wine also works well with many light cheeses.

 

Smell

 

 

Taste

 

Feel

 

Price

Floral

Lemon
Grapefruit

Pineapple
Pear
Citrus

Mineral (steely)

 
Dry 

Light to Medium bodied
Strong acidity

Alcohol levels 12 - 13%

No Tannins

 

 


Most Picpoul Blanc wines are very affordable, less than $20 and many are available for less than $10.

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