An expert guide to picpoul white wine
It’s unusual to find a white wine from a hot area which has a refreshing, crisp character, but that’s exactly what the grape picpoul delivers from the Languedoc in the deep south of France.
The area around the village of Pinet, near the coast (and benefitting from cooling sea breezes) is now renowned for its dry white wines scented with fresh lemon and hedgerow blossom, with citrus and apple flavours with a salty edge.
We’ve picked 6 of the best picpoul white wines, so you can quench your summer thirst with this lip-smacking white.
Picpoul has naturally high acidity – some believe the name means ‘lip-stinger’; others that is refers to local chickens (poulets) pecking at the grapes – so it makes a mouthwatering drop. Chill the distinctive tall, green bottles to pair with seafood and summer salads, ideally with lemon-based dressings.
5 of the best picpoul wines to buy
Asda Picpoul de Pinet Blanc Sec 2020, Languedoc, France (13%)
An excellent introduction to this grape, Asda’s own-label version has green apple and citrus and a whistle-clean mineral streak. Available from Asda (£7).
Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2020, Ormarine, Languedoc, France 13%
A crisp cocktail of fresh green apples and preserved lemons with a hint of peach; the finish is tangy and clean. Perfect summery aperitif. Available from Majestic (£9.99 or £8.99 as part of mixed six).
The Society’s Picpoul de Pinet 2020, Languedoc, France (13%)
The white blossom notes in the aroma are lovely in this one, and the lemon and grapefruit with a little twist of white pepper in the tail. Pair it with delicate white fish like sole. Available from The Wine Society (£8.75).
Les Canots Picpoul de Pinet 2020, Languedoc, France 12.5%
This one majors on the white pepper note often found in picpoul and has a lightly bitter note of citrus zest, fresh and clean. Available from Waitrose (£8.49).
M&S Classics No 15, Picpoul de Pinet 2020, Languedoc, France 13%
Pure lemon both on the aroma and flavour marks out this zingy version, with a crisp finish. Chill it for oysters… Available from M&S (£8).
Domaine Reine Juliette Picpoul de Pinet 2020, Languedoc, France 13%
A vivacious, refreshing style, lemon and lime mingling to make a citrus fruit cocktail with a light hint of peach. Available from Lea & Sandeman (£11.50).