Chapelle Bastion Picpoul 20
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There's an ocean of Picpoul de Pinet regularly consumed in the south of France, and with good reason. You can immediately understand the insatiable demand for this zippy thirst quencher when you enjoy a glass on a hot summer day in the Mediterranean heat. It's practically a reflex action to order a glass of Picpoul de Pinet with your lunch. It may be ubiquitous in France; however, here in the States, it's a relative unknown. With warmer weather on the horizon in Western North Carolina, you'll want to get to know this wine!
Picpoul literally translates to "lip-stinger," referring to the zesty, mouthwatering characteristic of the wine and the grape's ability to survive the punishing coastal heat while retaining excellent acidity. The grape was widely planted throughout France until the phylloxera epidemic decimated the country's vineyards in the late 1800s. Fortunately, Picpoul survived, happily thriving in the sandy soil of the Mediterranean coast, an environment hostile to phylloxera. Over the years, it's grown into the largest white wine-producing appellation in the Languedoc, with more than 3500 hectares under vine.
The Florensac vineyards are home to some of the oldest plantings of Picpoul on the Mediterranean, and the majority of the vineyards are less than ten kilometers inland from the coast. The cooling breezes of the Med temper the region's climate, moderating the daytime heat while providing that wonderful hint of salinity.
Two hundred sixty families contribute fruit for La Chapelle du Bastion Picpoul de Pinet. Harvest occurs only at night, keeping the grapes cool to retain their fresh, vibrant acidity. Oenologist Roques Stephane meticulously selects the best grapes, and fermentation proceeds entirely in stainless steel.
The Coop is one of the most eco-friendly producers in the south of France and has a remarkably low carbon footprint. They avoid chemical fertilizer and pesticides, using green pest control and farming methods in the vineyard. To further reduce carbon emissions, almost all of the winery's energy is supplied by a vast array of solar panels.
In your glass, you'll find a lively mix of citrus, stone fruit on the nose leading to a zippy and zesty palate of lemon-lime, melon, and white-fleshed orchard fruit. In just a sip or two, you'll understand precisely why the south of France is in love with this thirst-quenching white. It's clean, fresh, and perfect for the pool, porch, and patio.
The 2020 just arrived and we're doubly in love with the new vintage. It's just as clean and fresh as you'd expect; however, there's just a smidge more richness and roundness -- a definite bonus!
Enjoy this with any white-fleshed fish, shellfish, and especially oysters!