Description 1 of 2

 

Name of varietal: Picpoul (Piquepoul)

Common synonyms: Avello, Avillo, Extra, Feher Piquepoul, Languedocien, Picapoll, Picapolla, Picapulla, Picpoul, Picpoul de Pinet

Parentage of the grape: Unknown.

History of the grape: Wine has been made from this grape since at least the 17th century, when it was cited as “Piquepoul,” or “lip stinger,” presumably because of its high natural acidity. It comes in Noir, Gris, and Blanc versions. The white is the most planted, but it’s common to see all three in the same vineyard. Picpoul was popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, and was once a common base for vermouth, but lost a lot of vineyard area after the phylloxera epidemic. It is now regaining popularity, and its main AC, Picpoul de Pinet, is becoming better-known.

Picpoul Noir is most common as a minor ingredient in the Chateaneuf du Pape blend.

Characteristics of the grape: lemon, mineral, high acidity, full body

Regions where the grape currently is important: the Languedoc

Type or types of wines the grape produces: Picpoul de Pinet is one of the best deals around. It can be good wine, especially if made by an individual producer rather than a cooperative, and it is very inexpensive.
– Description from juliabutareva

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Description 2 of 2

(aka. Picpoul Blanc)

This Southern French varietal is one of 13 allowed grapes in the encepagement of AOC Chateauneuf du Pape, albeit a minor component if even present in most bottlings of this famous Southern Rhone AOC. It's predominant area of cultivation is in the Languedoc where it is the only varietal allowed in the Picpoul de Binet AOC. Thanks to Picpoul's high level of natural acidity, wines made from the varietal are the ideal accompaniment to the oysters farmed in the nearby town of Bouzigues.

Picpoul is new to California and has been recently introduced by Tablas Creek winery in Paso Robles. In 2003, they bottled it as a single varietal, and now, it is part of their 'Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc' blend. Some people say that its name means "lip stinger" (although there is another story that claims that the name derives from "pecking hens").

, you're a quiet guy who avoids the spotlight, but there are rumors that your lips sting. Underneath that quiet façade some say there is an acidic bite, or is this just gossip from your neighbors Marsanne and Roussanne? Or perhaps from Grenache Blanc, your Rhone companion, with whom you play boules every afternoon? Regardless, you don't care. You’re most happy with a dozen oysters from nearby Bouzigues – they’re just perfect with a squeeze of lemon! A recent and unassuming immigrant to the rocky hills of West Paso Robles, you’ve bloomed in sunny California. The new environ even seems to have revealed a more gregarious side of you. You shine in your new tropical dress and even Roussane and Grenache Blanc, who back home teased you as the “lip-stinger”, are welcoming you as a welcomed dose of personality at their Westside parties.

Varietal Character by Catherine Granger – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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