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Expert’s choice: Premium Picpoul de Pinet

So much more than a summer apéritif, Picpoul de Pinet is going up in the world. Elizabeth Gabay MW explores the drive for quality and gives us her selection of premium Picpoul de Pinet wines to try.

Picpoul de Pinet’s motto the “sea is our terroir”, refers not only to the maritime influence on the vineyards, but also to the affinity of the wine with seafood. Walk round the port of Marseillan on the Étang de Thau and every harbourside café offers plates of locally-bred oysters and a glass of Picpoul.

While the reputation of this wine, comparable to Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, has been successfully promoted by this seafood matching, production has grown fivefold since 1992.

Today, Picpoul de Pinet is the largest white wine producing area in Languedoc, making 85% of Languedoc’s AOP white wine. Over the past thirty years, production of Picpoul de Pinet has risen from 1.7 million bottles in 1985, to 12 million bottles sold globally today.

Over 66% is exported, with the UK the wine’s biggest market. The success of the brand has resulted in producers embracing an initiative for a new premium Picpoul de Pinet, under the “Patience” label, currently being launched.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 15 premium Picpoul de Pinet wines

With a heritage dating back to the fifteenth century and rarity value, producers of this white wine from the region around the town of Pinet, on the hills north of the Étang de Thau, have a unique character.

See tasting notes and scores for 15 premium Picpoul de Pinet wines

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