Maris Picpoul de Pinet 2012
What’s that funny shaped bottle? Well, it’s one of the few whites from the Languedoc (apart from Maris Brama Grenache Gris of course) which really sings with local seafood dishes such as marinated anchovies, smoked shrimps, brandade de morue or, naturally, a gigantic oyster platter in Sète located on the other side of the pond where this wine is made! Maris Picpoul de Pinet is bone dry with notes of lemon zest, white pepper and honey. Drink by the pool, with or without swimsuit.
The white only cru of the Languedoc. It’s one of those rare things in France: a varietal-labeled wine.
It’s sometimes called it the ‘Muscadet of the Languedoc’, though the flavor profile is fuller, if similarly zesty and it’s a fantastic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc or Albarino. Maris Picpoul tastes best in the prime of its youth, when it is showing its full flavors to their best: white flower blossom, lemon freshness, soft green apple.
For a grape variety grown in the warm, sunny Mediterranean, inland from Sète, it has remarkable freshness and citrus-vivacity. Indeed, anyone in doubt of this grape’s freshness should look to its Occitan origins for a translation lip stinger… so-called for the grape’s high natural acid content, which it retains well in the Mediterranean warmth. This may be partly due to the sea breezes (The town of Pinet is a stone’s throw away from the sea) cooling the extreme warmth of the day, and bringing much needed moisture to the vines on their panoramic limestone plateau.
Made under anaerobic conditions in stainless steel, Maris Picpoul by the Pool has light coloring with
hints of green. It boasts a floral nose, distinctive with echoes of gunflint, brine and fennel. The wine has crisp but balanced acidity, mineral notes and a surprisingly broad texture. The wine is an unbeatable match for shellfish, marinated anchovies, grilled fish and, when in season, asparagus.