New Picpoul de Pinet from Jean-Luc Colombo
Picpoul de Pinet is usually a bone dry white wine that is a perfect partner for all sorts of fish and shellfish dishes. The refreshing and citrus-y Jean-Luc Colombo Les Girelles is a little bit rounder and a bit less dry than some. It is a great wine for the hot summer months and a brilliant alternative to the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio.
What is Picpoul de Pinet?
It is a grape variety grown in the hot, sunny Languedoc near Montpelier just inland from the Meditteranean in the south of France. The literal translation of Pique-poul is “stings the lips”, or “lip-stinger”, a reference to the grapes mouth-watering, natural acidity – surprising for grapes from this part of the country, but this can be partly explained cooling sea-breezes cooling the vines after the extreme heat of the day. Picpoul, also known as Piquepoul or Picapoll, can only be called Picpoul de Pinet if it is from the communes of Pinet, Mèze, Florenzac, Castelnau-de-Guers, Montagnac and Pomérols located around and overlooking the Bassin de Thau. The vineyards cover some 1300 hectares or so.
It is one of the oldest grape varieties in the Languedoc and there is a reference to Piquepoul in the botanist J B Maniol’s 1618 work “Sylve plantarium”. You might have actually had this grape variety before under a different guise – along with Clairette Blanche it is the key grape variety in the Noilly Prat Vermouth.
Jean-Luc Colombo Picpoul de Pinet Les Girelles
100% Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc Roussillon wine growing region. The grapes for this wine are sourced from from vineyards planted on light stony limestone soils situated on a plateau surrounded by pine forests. The climate is Mediterranean (as is the local vegetation – thyme, lavender, live oaks, pine trees) with maritime influences. The wine is traditionally vinified with a long fermentation at low temperature to preserve freshness and fruit. The label depicts two fish – Les Girelles. Le Girelle, singular, is a rock fish also known as the Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse that is commonly used to make the famous Bouillabaisse fish soup of the region.
Buy Jean-Luc Colombo Picpoul de Pinet Les Girelles at Fareham Wine Cellar.
Tasting Notes: Jean-Luc Colombo Picpoul de Pinet Les Girelles has a rich and subtle nose with fresh notes of white flowers and lemony, citrus. The palate is nicely rounded and very fresh with good structure and a nice range of flavours. Crisp and dry, yet relatively full, with good acidity and not quite as bone dry as some! As mentioned above this is great with seafood and shellfish, but it is also a good match for salads, charcuterie and creamy cheeses.
Jean-Luc Colombo is a relatively young French wine company. Jean-Luc, and his wife, Anne, moved to Cornas from Marseille in 1982 to set up a pharmacy and oenology lab. Four years later, he bought his first vineyard and celebrated his first vintage in 1987. Top quality fruit is sourced from Colombo’s own 20 hectares of vineyards in the northern Rhone (where the company have their headquarters) primarily in Cornas and St Peray, and from his 40 hectares of pioneering vineyard development in the stunning ‘Blue Coast’ area. This is truly a family business: Anne is vineyard manager and wine-maker, as is Laure, their daughter, who joined the family domaine in 2010. Laure is also the figurehead for the sister brand of Colombo & Fille.