Domaine Matassa Cuvée Nougé 2005

Domaine Matassa Cuvée Nougé 2005

Domaine Matassa Cuvée Nougé 2005

Yesterday was something of a French classic, a white Bordeaux, with a family run producer making wine that has a history in the region dating back generations.  Today, it’s a different take on the concept of heritage from some unlikely characters in the form of this Domaine Matassa Cuvée Nougé 2005.

This is a Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes, much like the Domaine Lafage Carignan I wrote about back in July.  However, a quick recap might be useful.  VDP can be wine of three different types of geographic designations, and from largest to smallest they are regional, departmental and local.  The larger the area, the more flexibility a producer has in terms of where they source their grapes.  In addition, some regional designations are both familiar internationally and fairly well regarded such as Vin de Pays d’Oc.

Côtes Catalanes is situated in the south of France near the border with Spain.  When I wrote about the Domaine Lafage Carignan I mentioned the warm, Mediterranean climate and the soils, which vary from a combination of decomposed shale and clay with poor drainage through to schist marble and limestone hills, and gravel as you near the sea.  However, I didn’t say anything about Catalonia.

I prefer to focus on wine and not politics, so I’ll be brief.  Catalonia is at present one of the autonomous communities of Spain.  Historically the Principality of Catalonia included area which is now across the border in France, and the region as a whole has a unique language and culture.  Many producers, such as this one, have chosen therefore to use the Côtes Catalanes designation instead of the more widely known Côtes du Roussillon or  d’Oc.

Speaking of this producer, Domaine Matassa was founded by Tom Lubbbe, Nathalie Gauby and Sam Harrop MW in 2002.  Lubbe, apparently born in New Zealand but brought up in South Africa, worked in Swartland and Bordeaux prior to arriving in the Côtes Catalanes and working at Domaine Gauby where he met Nathalie Gauby.  Her family has run the Domain for generations, selling grapes through a co-operative until 1985 when they started making their own wine.  It is now regarded as a top Roussillon estate.  Harrop is a Master of Wine and consultant winemaker, having previously make wine in his native New Zealand, as well as California and Australia, before working with Marks and Spencer, a hugely influential UK retailer.

After the initial purchase of the Clos Matassa vineyard near Le Vivier at 500-600m altitude on granitic soils, the Domaine expanded with the purchase of a number of neighbouring parcels and additional vineyards near Calce, 20km to the east on schist and marl soils at altitudes of 150-200m.  Most vineyards are between 60 and 120 years old, and consist of traditional Catalan varieties such as Carignan, Grenache, Maccabeu, Grenache Gris, Muscat of Alexandria and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, while the younger vineyards have Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Viognier.  Cabernet Franc, Carignan Blanc, Vermentino, Rolle and Chenin Blanc have also been known to feature in their wines.  Grapes are grown organically, and biodynamic techniques are employed in the vineyard.  Vineyards are plowed, in some cases by mules.

Most wines produced are blends, some co-fermented field blends.  Whites are made by tightly packing whole bunches into a basket press and ageing in 600l old oak barrels.  Reds are fermented as whole bunches with some initial foot crushing, and then transferred to 600l old oak barrels halfway through and kept there for an additional 18-24 months, including malolactic fermentation.

Before I get to this wine itself, a quick note about the grapes.  Maccabeu as it is known in Roussillon and printed on the back label, may be more familiar as Viura in Rioja or Macabeo more generally.  Details can be found in my write up of a varietal example from Borsao, while more information about Muscat is available in my post on the Schild Estate Frontignac and notes about Viognier are given in my Yalumba Virgilius post.

In the glass this wine is clear and bright, with a medium minus lemon green colour and film, not legs, when swirled.  On the nose it’s clean and developing, with medium plus intensity, and notes of lemon and green apple.  On the palate it’s dry, with medium plus acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, medium plus intensity, and medium length.  There are notes of lime, mandarin, and a bit of saltiness that made me think of Gatorade.  (Note, I have very fond memories of Gatorade going back 30 years to when I was a child playing soccer, so I mean that in the best of all possible ways.)

This is a good wine.  I was initially worried that I had left this bottle in the cellar for too long but it’s holding up well – still developing on the nose.  I don’t know that I would have wanted to give it another seven years, but the fruit is still fresh.  I didn’t get a great deal of complexity beyond some lively citrus, but it was well balanced with a pleasing flavour profile.

Pin in the map is the village of Calce where the producer’s cellar is based, but I have no street address.

Domaine Léon Barral Faugères 2009

Origin: , , ,

Colour and type: ,
Main Variety:
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Domaine Léon Barral Faugères 2009

Domaine Léon Barral Faugères 2009

While I don’t mention them by name, I’m very grateful for a small handful of restaurants and wine bars in my area that have interesting wine lists, in particular by the glass.  You can generally tell when I write about their wines because the bottle photographs are different, typically featuring a glass as well.  Today is one such wine, the Domaine Léon Barral Faugères 2009.

A stereotypical by the glass wine list around here will have a local sparkler and a Champagne, an aromatic white, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, a middle weight red, and a Shiraz.  Except for the Champagne, and possibly a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, everything will be Australian, largely from South Australia.  While I’m all for supporting local producers, it can be quite predictable, and if you eat out regularly, somewhat boring.

Fortunately, there are a few places I frequent which offer a wider range of wines by the glass, with roughly a third from South Australia and the rest being divided between Europe and other parts of Australia, with the occasional New World wines as well.  Often I find myself with a glass in front of me and I have no idea what it is or where it’s from.

That was the case with this wine, and only subsequent reading allowed me to locate the region and identify the blend.  This wine is from Faugères, an appellation located in Languedoc in the south of France.  It emerged as a wine producing region in the 19th century, and was promoted from VDQS to AOC in 1982 for red and rosé wines and in 2005 for whites.  The soil is primarily schist and the climate is Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and fairly cold wet winters.  The grapes for red and rosé wines are traditionally Carignan and Cinsault, though Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah are not just permitted but being promoted as replacement varieties.  White wine may be made of Rousanne, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Vermentino, though red wines dominate with 80% of production.

While it’s true I knew nothing about this wine when it was placed in front of me, Faugères is in fact listed as a regional entry for WSET Diploma students, so I should have known everything in the last paragraph and more.  In terms of the producer, its name would likewise have been familiar had I been a better student, because in the Faugères entry in the Oxford Companion to Wine, it is mentioned as being a top quality producer.

Domaine Leon Barral was founded in 1993 by Didier Barrel and is named after his grandfather.  He’s a champion for the biodynamic movement, and so his team working the vineyard consists of himself, horses, cows and pigs.  His youngest vineyard is Mourvèdre and Syrah with vines that are 15 to 30 years old, though his older vineyard are dominated by Carignan vines that are up to 90 years old.  He produces three AOC red blends and a white vin de pays of Terrets Blanc and Gris, Viognier and Roussanne.

Grapes are hand picked, and then fermented in concrete without the addition of sulphur or introduced yeasts.  This wine was aged a further two years in tanks without oak influence, and bottled without racking, fining or filtration.  (The other two reds do see time in barrel.)  Based on 50% Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault make up the remainder of the blend.  As this blog is no stranger to those grapes, it’s on to the tasting.

In the glass this wine is clear and bright with a dark ruby colour and quick abundant legs.  On the nose it’s clean, and developing with medium plus intensity and notes of violets, sweet spice, simple red fruit, and lavender.  On the palate it’s dry, with medium plus intensity, medium plus alcohol, medium plus fine tannins, medium acidity, medium body, and medium length.  There are notes of chocolate, simple red fruit, violets, plums, and red cherries, with some hazelnut and coffee on the finish.

This is a very good wine.  The palate has a very complex and pleasing collection of flavours.  The red fruit is not especially distinct, but all the other flavours are very evocative.  It’s nicely balanced, and even the 14% alcohol is noticeable but not hot.  A pleasant surprise and a reminder to me that I still have plenty of studying to do to be worthy of the Diploma.

Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut 2010

Origin: , ,

Colour and type: ,
Main Variety:
Contributing varieties: ,

Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut 2010

Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut 2010

Depending on where you live, some of the WSET Diploma can feel theoretical only.  When I studied for the sparkling wine section, much of the focus was on Champagne, Cava, Crémant, Sekt, Italian styles and New World sparklers, all of which we were able to taste as part of our class, and which were also readily available for further study.  However, we were also expected to cover some lesser known wines, and today I have an example of one which I’m tasting for the first time, the Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut 2005.

The sparkling wine exam was actually one of the easiest, in that the amount of material covered was fairly small.  You could almost be guaranteed that there would be  Champagne related question, and then it could be anything for the other two questions, but there were only so many topics.  My exam consisted of the fairly straightforward topics Négociant-manipulant, Cava DO, and Crémant.  The result was correspondingly high pass rate of 77%.  Had the Crémant question been swapped with a question on the sparkling wines of Limoux, I think the result might have been a bit different, because while I could have covered the basics, I had pages of detail on Crémant through not just France but Luxembourg as well.

Limoux is an appellation in the south of France in the hills leading up to the Spanish border.  It is among the coolest regions within Languedoc, with both altitude and distance from the sea setting it apart.  The climate is Mediterranean, though the influence of the Atlantic is felt more, further distinguishing it as cooler and wetter than its neighbouring regions.  The soils are rocky, with clay, sandstone and limestone making up distinct subzones.

While there is some production of still, red wine, the area is best known for sparkling, white wine.  It is claimed by locals to be the birthplace of sparkling wine, with records dating back to 1531, well before bubbles were mastered in Champagne.  The technique originally used is now known as Méthode Ancestrale, which involves bottling wine which has not finished fermenting.  The fermentation continues in bottle, resulting in a somewhat sweet, often cloudy wine with a relatively low level of alcohol and carbonation.  Blanquette de Limoux Méthode Ancestrale is a wine of the region made in that manner, exclusively from the Mauzac grape.  Blanquette in Occitan means white, though it often is used to refer to Mauzac in this context.

In addition, sparkling wine is made in the traditional method, with a second fermentation being instigated in bottle followed by disgorgement as opposed to the initial fermentation continuing and no disgorgement.  This takes the form of sparkling wine made under the labels Blanquette de Limoux (Méthode Traditionnelle) and Crémant de Limoux.  While both are produced in the same manner as Champagne, the difference between the two is that Blanquette de Limoux must be made up of at least 90% Mauzac, with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc completing the blend, while Crémant de Limoux must be a majority of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, a minority of Mauzac, with a small portion of Pinot Noir permitted but not required.

Mauzac (Blanc), or sometimes Blanquette, is a white skinned grape largely found in the vicinity of Limoux or Gaillac 100km to the north.  While there are Mauzac Rosé and Mauzac Noir varieties as well, they are particularly rare and Mauzac without a colour almost always refers to the Blanc variety.  The grape buds and ripens late, which seems an odd choice for Limoux given its relatively cool and wet climate.  It has highly variable yields, which in part explains its decreasing popularity with growers.   It it typically picked early to retain acidity needed in sparkling wine, but often at the cost of the characteristic apple peel flavour that comes with further ripening.  In addition to Limoux and Gaillac, it’s apparently one of the permitted (but almost never used) white grapes of Bordeaux.  Wikipedia references a Decanter article that claims there are seven permitted white grapes, but other sources list eight, but all include Mauzac – news to me.

[A tweet from the good people at Rives Blanques after this was initially published informed me that Mauzac is also used in still white wine in AOC Limoux, where is it picked by hand, fermented and aged in bottle - something I overlooked in researching this post.  They of course would know, as they produce wines across AOC Limoux, AOC Blanquette de Limoux, and AOC Crémant de Limoux, as well as a few others.]

Like the Lambrusco of last week, information on this producer is somewhat thin on the ground, but I did manage to find a few titbits.  The name on the label, Saint-Hilaire, is the monastery where monks are said to have invented Vin Blanquette and Méthode Rurale in 1531.  The wine itself was produced at/by La Cave des Vignerons du Sieur d’Arques, a winemaking cooperative and the largest winery in Limoux.  This wine is not listed on their direct order website, and given that the front and back labels are in English (and that there’s a back label at all), I’m guessing this is produced exclusively for export.  At some point, after more research, it would be worth writing a post exclusively about cooperatives because they can be a huge part of trade depending on the area, but it’s rare that I (knowingly) encounter cooperative wines.

As to this wine in the glass, it is clear and bright with pale lemon green colour, multiple steady streams of bubbles, and a ring of bubbles where the glass meets the top of the pour.   On the nose it’s clean and developing, with medium minus intensity.  I get the classic baking powder note of carbon dioxide which often makes it difficult for me to smell anything else, but also some green apple and pear, and a hint of biscuit/dough.  On the palate it’s dry with medium plus acidity, medium body, medium minus alcohol, medium minus intensity, and a medium minus length.  It has notes of sour apple, herbs, and some hay or grass – not freshly cut New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but more dried and almost bitter.

I’ll give this a good, because there are no faults, even if it is lacking in a few key areas.  Since it’s my first Blanquette de Limoux I don’t have a reference point, but what I’ve read about Mauzac is spot on in terms of tasting so it gets full marks for typicity.  As with all first tries, it does make me wish I had another or a few so as to get a better sense of the style and quality, but most of all it makes me wish I had access to a varietal Mauzac to get me another step closer to a century of varietal wines.

Domaine Lafage Tessellae Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2009

Domaine Lafage Tessellae Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2009

Domaine Lafage Tessellae Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2009

First off, I’m not dead.  I’m sure many of you were concerned when I went without posting for almost two weeks.  More importantly, I have given up neither drinking nor writing.  There have been a few concerns, not related to drinking or writing, which have been more pressing over the last fortnight, but with this post I hope to return to form and look forward to bringing you further wine most weekdays.  And to get this week on track, I give you Domaine Lafage Tessellae Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2009.

First off, where was this wine on Carignan Day when I mistakenly ended up with an admittedly very good blend when what I really wanted was a varietal?    At long last I can add Carignan as a varietal to my list.  As far as Carignan goes, I did write a fair bit about it when I reviewed the De Martino, but just for a quick review, it’s a grape that is not universally loved, and in fact was considered something of a pest within the trade due to its use in cheap wine made from highly cropped vines (up to 200HL/HA in some cases).  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that’s no longer the case entirely, but there are certainly some producers making quality wine from the grape, with much more tightly controlled yields.  The grape is found throughout the warmer areas surrounding the Mediterranean, including North Africa, and can produce wines high in colour, acidity and tannins, though sometimes with a fair whack of bitterness as well.

So in addition to being a varietal Carignan, this wine is interesting to me because it’s a vin de pays, or country wine, though within France that term is being phased out and replaced with Indication Géographique Protégée, which I’ve seen abbreviated as both IGP and PGI.  This category of wine is not new to this blog, though perhaps in this form it is.  I touched on the topic a bit with the IGT wines from the Sicily tasting, in particular the Duca Enrico, which are essentially the Italian version via the overarching EU regulations.  In quality levels, at the high end you have appellations with their strict regulations and rankings, and at the lower end you have table wine which has very little regulation at all.  However, in between there are many wines which are not strictly restricted by appellation rules but which are from a particular region with the right to designate themselves as such.  So vin de pays are from an area, rather than table wine which can be a blend of wine from anywhere, but without so many of the appellation rules to do with permitted varieties, yields, winemaking styles, what have you.

So why do I find them interesting?  Three main reasons:  value, room for innovation, and local scarcity.  First, they can represent very good value.  There’s a great deal of vin de pays produced, and while much of it is very mediocre, there are some excellent wines to be found.  However, since they’re grouped with a large range of competitors, even the very good ones can’t charge a huge premium, and as such you can find very good vin de pays for decent prices.  Second, without established appellation rules, winemakers are free to experiment and innovate in terms of what they plant and how they make their wine.  Vin de pays can be as unconventional as any New World wine, and while not all of them are, I like that experimentation is permitted.  Finally, because these are often value wines that compete on price within Europe, they have a hard time competing against local wines in Australia because of the taxes levied against them before they even get to a shelf.  A five pound sterling bottle of vin de pays might do well competing against a similarly priced Australian bottle in London, but on a shelf here it would cost much more than a local wine of similar quality.  As a result, not a huge amount of vin de pays is available in Australia – it often just isn’t competitive.

Right, so that’s the grape and vin de pays out of the way, but I haven’t said a word about the pays in vin de pays, and in this case it’s Côtes Catalanes.  I’ve only previously written about a single wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, the Picpoul de Pinet, and this wine is from another subregion within the greater area, the Catalan coast.  Vin de pays can be named at three levels – regional, such as Vin de Pays d’Oc which covers all of Languedoc and Roussillon, departmental (which is roughly equivalent to a county), and local.  This is a local designation, having to do with the Catalan ethnic group of what is now Catalonia of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Côtes Catalanes is based in the Pyrenees-Orientales department in the Roussillon region.    The climate is warm Mediterranean, and the soils vary from a combination of decomposed shale and clay with poor drainage through to schist marble and limestone hills, and gravel as you near the sea.  While there are certainly plantings of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah are the dominant red varieties, with a mix of traditional and international whites.

Domaine Lafage is the estate of a family which has been cultivating vines in the region for six generations, going back as far as the late 1800s.  The label itself is a relatively recent invention of Jean-Marc Lafage, who with his wife Elaine, established it in 1996 after years of wine studies and work throughout the New World.  Their holdings are 138 HA of vines across 200 HA total, with plantings of Muscat, Chardonnay, and Grenache, in addition to Carignan (among others) that go into AOC Côtes du Roussillon wines, various vins de pays, vins doux naturels, and a line of bag in box wines.

This wine is made from grapes grown in the Agly Valley, with soils of black shale and schist.  In terms of yields, this wine is made from grapes that yielded roughly 20HL/HA, whereas at the extreme some vineyards can bring in ten times as much.

In the glass this wine is clear and bright, medium plus ruby colour, with slow thin legs when swirled.  On the nose it’s clean and developing, with notes of raspberry, perfume and dark chocolate.  The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium minus body, medium plus tannins, medium plus alcohol, and medium flavour intensity.  There are notes of plum, raspberry, blueberry, some blood and meat, and a little chocolate.  It has a medium length and a chocolate finish.

This is a good quality wine – interesting and worth a try.  It’s certainly not the Carignan that is the source of so many complaints.  The tannins are supple, the fruit sweet but with rich chocolate.  There’s a fair amount of complexity for a very unpretentious wine.  It’s not a wine that’s going to change your life, but certainly one worth drinking.

 

Domaine de la Majone Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet 2010

Domaine de la Majone Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet 2010

Domaine de la Majone Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet 2010

I swung by a favourite wine bar recently and had an opportunity to try something rare, and even though I just wrote about a similarly lesser known white grape from the south of France, I couldn’t resist.  Obscure grapes are really a matter of perspective, in that if I lived in Pinet this would be considered absolutely common.  But since I don’t, I give you Domaine de la Majone Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet 2010.

Before I get into that, you may have noticed a change on the website, in that each post starts with some data about the wine in question, and those terms click through to all the wines that share that origin or variety.  While I still have a fair amount of work ahead of me, all the posts that relate to a single wine (approaching 100) now have those details.  It’s handy as I will be making more templates to make use of those, but even just now as I was putting those details in I had to enter both the location and the grape into the database, so I know that I haven’t covered either before.  And that means I should get to it.

So Languedoc.  It, along with Roussillon, made up the compulsory question on the WSET Diploma Exam in January (I passed – not sure if I’ve mentioned that enough) and so I should be well equipped to say something meaningful about it.  However, the question was about the strengths and weaknesses of the two collectively as a wine area, and I think I got points for showing thoughtfulness instead of actually knowing many facts.  I’ll start with what I know, and then, as always, consult the pile of books I have here (as well as the OCW at jancisrobinson.com).

Languedoc-Roussillon is an area in the south of France from the Spanish border to the Rhône river, extending inland from the Mediterranean between roughly 30km at it’s most shallow and roughly 100km at its deepest.  Roussillon is the area closest to the border and is culturally Catalan, but best kept on its own until I can talk about a wine specifically from there.  Languedoc is the more northern and eastern section of the broader region, and is culturally an area where Occitan was spoken.  If you add spaces and punctuation, Languedoc becomes Langue d’òc, or language of òc, hence the name of the region.  The climate is Mediterranean, with short, rainy winters, long springs and autumns, and hot dry summers.  Drought is a constant threat.  In addition to the sea, the Mistral can have an impact, keeping the region from becoming unbearably hot.  The soils vary across the rather large region, though limestone is a common theme.  Otherwise, it’s rich soil in river valleys, sandy in the area around the Rhône, but more clay and gravel on the plains.

In terms of wine, Languedoc is a big place, both geographically and in terms of production.    Along with Roussillon, the two make up roughly a quarter of total French area under vine, though that is down from a third in the 1990s.  While the areas produce a vast quantity of wine, they represents only 10% of AC wines.  Instead most wine produced is either in the lowest quality designation, Vin de Table, or increasingly in the intermediate category of Vin de Pays.

In parts of the New World, there are areas that are best known for bulk production of wine but likewise not generally known for high quality wines, such as California’s Central Valley, or Australia’s Murray Darling.  It’s tempting to think that Languedoc must be the same, and at one point that might have been true.  Carignan, little loved, is the main grape of the region.  Traditional winemaking is still very common, with little availability of modern conveniences such as destemming machinery, and new oak is usually beyond the budgets afforded by the selling price of the wines produced.  Fermentation is typically done in concrete, though stainless steel has made some inroads.  Carbonic maceration is commonly used to moderate the harsh nature of Carignan, and much of the wine is sold in bulk to consumers without ever seeing the inside of a bottle.

However, while Languedoc does produce more than its share of mediocre bulk wines, it is also an engine of innovation in the Old World.  In the absence of strict appellation rules, some winemakers have taken advantage of the freedom by experimenting with different varieties, blends, and winemaking techniques.  Vine pull schemes sponsored by the European Union have cut back on the dominance of Carignan, opening up the region to Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay are also finding a home there, though not for AC wines.  Wines are sold with the variety written on the label – something unusual in France outside of Alsace.  Modern wines of Languedoc can be fresh, interesting, and able to compete with their New World counterparts on price and accessibility.  The thrust of my essay answer on the exam was that as a region it was a small piece of the New World in an Old World country.  So freedom, modernity, and some of the cachet of being French, but none of the recognition or prestige of the fine wine regions.

To narrow the focus somewhat, much of that does not apply to this wine or its region.  This wine is from Coteaux du Languedoc AC, which immediately puts it a step up on the quality classification ladder from most wines of Languedoc, and in particular it is from the named Cru of Picpoul de Pinet.

Picpoul Blanc is the grape, and it is neither of the new crop of varieties being planted, but rather a re-emerging regional grape of the area that fell out of fashion when phylloxera destroyed much of the wine industry.  Literally “lip stinger” in Occitan, it’s an oval shaped white grape found in loose bunches.  It buds early but ripens late.  Unfortunately, it has low yields and is susceptible to fungus, and as such was not a popular candidate for replanting after the blight of the 19th century.  While it is not the next Sauvignon Blanc, it has come back from complete obscurity.  It tolerates sand, which has been used to good effect in coastal vineyards, and modern winemaking has allowed its crisp character to be more widely appreciated.  It, along with Picpoul Rouge, are permitted varieties in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, though are only ever seen there in tiny amounts.  It is at home in Languedoc, and Picpoul de Pinet may be made in both the namesake commune and a number of its immediate neighbours.  There area also plantings in California and Texas, but I can’t find anyone growing it in Australia.

I can find very little information about this producer as I’m unable to locate their website, but I did drop a line to the importer and have one detail.  They’re apparently part of a co-operative in Côtes de Thau with their own winery.  The bottle shape is also required of the AOC, and while the photo doesn’t do it justice, it is somewhere between an Alsace and Burgundy shape, with an embossed detail most of the way up the bottle.

As to this wine itself, in the glass it’s clear and bright, with medium minus lemon green colour and slow thick legs.  The nose is of medium plus intensity, with scents of green apple, honey, mineral, and pear.  It’s youthful without really any development.  On the palate it’s dry with medium plus acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, medium plus intensity and notes of grapefruit, some pear, mineral, and a little paint thinner on the finish. It has a medium plus length.

This is a good quality wine.  It’s fairly intense and has good complexity of tart and mineral flavours.  The acidity is certainly living up to the variety’s name, and it makes me wish the weather was warmer and I was having something salty like fish and chip to eat by the seaside.  I’d recommend this if you can find it, or really any Picpoul de Pinet, as they’re refreshing and certainly undervalued.  I’m not positive, but this could be the least expensive wine I’ve covered, but certainly one of the best in terms of value.

Pin location is approximate.