White and Unusual Wine, 'Picpoul de Pinet' St Martin de la Garrigue

Blame it on my being partial to red wines, I never tasted a Picpoul de Pinet until a week ago.

When I made my way to the Kermit Lynch table at the Sud de France Tasting and noticed the Domaine St. Martin de la Garrigue Picpoul de Pinet (2007), I had to give it a try.


High in acidity, citrus flavors, great with seafood, some call this Coteaux de Languedoc appelation the Muscadet of Southern France.

The official Picpoul de Pinet site is a treasure trove of information.

It defines the appelation as:

"Stretching along the Thau lagoon to the west of the Mediterranean’s Golfe de Lyon lies the largest white wine producing area in the Languedoc : the Picpoul de Pinet terroir. It consists of a triangle bounded by Agde, Pézenas and Sète".

See map below (from their site):


The Picpoul that I tried was 100% Picpoul Blanc (retail price around $16)

The Picpoul site calls this varietal "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".

Their tasting notes show it to be "clear with green highlights, though can be more golden from older vines, soft, delicate nose, with pleasant hints of acacia and hawthorn blossom".

I was challenged in my assumptions to see Charcuterie as one of their food pairing suggestions.

Regina Schrambling on a trip to the area wondered Wine of the moment? ‘Le Picpoul’ (LA Times, July 2007) and stated that it was very popular in the UK.

The Wine Doctor paid A Visit to Domaine St. Martin de la Garrigue and shares its long history and tasting notes.

I borrowed his Picpoul de Pinet label as my illustration.

Previously on Sud de France: 

Not Color Blind, 'Gris de Gris', Wine in Another Shade of Pink (Sud de France 2)

and Gone South! 'Sud de France' US Launch, Wine Tasting, New York

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