SEPTEMBER THIRST–PAUL MAS PICPOUL DE PINET

STORY

September may bring to us the first suggestions of fall, we’re not quite ready to give up on our summer drinking habits just yet. Keeping with the theme of Southern France we move onto one of that region’s best kept secrets–Picpoul de Pinet. This fantastic yet underappreciated grape makes some of the most refreshing and characterful wines in France’s south, rivaling on the best rosés out there as the king–or queen–of summertime refreshment. Ours comes to us from a small estate near Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast, with a ton of potential for late-summer enjoyment.

TASTING

Known for its high acidity–in the Languedoc!–and bright green fruit character, Paul Mas’ Picpoul offers up notes of green pear, white pepper, and melon on the nose, moving to the palate to highlight more green orchard fruits, white floral tinges, and a bit of spice on the finish. All the while this wine is fresh, fresh, fresh! It is at home alongside sea foods of any kind, but also fresh goat’s milk cheeses of all ages. For a real treat, try it with our recipe for Shrimp Pasta with Herbs, Corn, and Arugula.

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Picpoul de Pinet is a grape with two faces. It is at once one of the most important varieties grown in Cognac for brandy production–known there as Folle Blanche. As a still, dry wine, though, its home is in the Languedoc, where the Mediterranean climate allows it to reach its full potential. As with many white grapes, Picpoul thrives when planted to limestone-based soils, and that is precisely the case at Paul Mas, though a bit of red clay is mixed in as well. As with most freshness- driven whites, this wine is fermented and aged in steel tank, so as to preserve freshness.