Picpoul, sometimes “pique-poule”, or lip-stinger, is an exceptionally beloved cépage of Southern France, lending balance to cuvées that might otherwise veer into the direction of the fulsome.
90 Points Vinous
$18.00 per bottle / $194.40 per case
$15.30 per bottle / $172.80 per case (Members)
This is our sixth vintage Picpoul from the Beeswax vineyard, and very confidently I’d suggest that it is, far and away, our best effort to date. Picpoul or “lip-stinger” is known, of course for its tingling acidity, but coupled with its singular savoriness, it creates a dramatic sensation on the palate. (The ‘17 is perhaps a little bit softer than vendanges d’antan.)
I know that it’s impossible to smell the sensation of saltiness, but the nose of our Picpoul is maritime, coupled with a discreet suggestion of peaches, wildflowers and the (we really can’t help it, but it’s in there) ubiquitous fragrance of beeswax. The ‘17 seems to possess a unique suggestion of spearmint, which is a fragrance that seems to pop up every now and then in other varieties grown at Beeswax Vineyard.
The picpoul grape variety is a naturally vigorous and productive grape variety Impressive good natural acidity (no acidification was doon), with echoes of the ocean breeze. Beeswax Vineyard, in Arroyo Seco, is after all, only a hop, skip and jump away from the cool breezes of the Carmel Valley. Whether lips are literally stung by a “coup de picpoul” is open to debate, but lips are certainly known to smack at the ultra-savoriness (this is Umami Central) of this unique grape variety.
Food Pairing Notes
This wine is utterly brilliant with the briniest oysters you can find or Dungeness crab. Other ideas include Grilled Octopus with Lemon, Moussaka, Sardines a la Plancha, Grilled Sardines with Frisée & Whole-Grain Mustard Dressing. We also love these more doon-to-earth ideas from our friends over at CrushedGrapeChronicles.com: Iberico or Manchego cheese, herbed goat cheese, smoked oysters, anchovies, capers, olive tapenade, calamari.