Gaujal de St Bon Picpoul Pinet Cuvee Dame Coteaux du Languedoc Roussillon 2010
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(winesearcher.com pro version)
The Gaujals have rendered a 2010 Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet that is a surprisingly lush, full example of its appellation and might disappoint those looking for more typically bright, tart, lighter Picpoul virtues. Ripe pear and honeydew melon are tinged with pungent herbs as well as bitter melon rind and pear pip, and a hint of white pepper in the finish adds further stimulation. This can certainly be recommended.
The nose evokes aromas of fresh cut melons, citrus, hay and minerals. The palate is broad, but with good acid, its delicacy revealed after some exposure to air. Real character, a low price, and an amazing value.
Picpoul de Pinet is a relatively small sub-appellation within the Coteaux du Languedoc. The vineyards are located in close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, not far from the beach resort of Sete, southwest of Montpellier. Most of the wine produced (over 80%) comes from four large co-ops in the region. Like some other Mediterranean whites, Rolle (aka Vermentino) and Assyrtico, Picpoul thrives in the hot climate and holds its acidity and freshness well. In fact, the name Picpoul is derived from the French words "picque," meaning sharp, and "poul," meaning lip -- "lip stinger."
Domaine Gaujal St. Bon is a small estate-bottled operation run with extreme diligence by the mother-daughter team, Simone and Virginie Gaujal. They are proud defenders of Picpoul, and endeavor to make the finest and truest expressions of the variety in the appellation. Yields are kept in the 40 h/h range, while 60 h/h is permitted (and often exceeded).
They ferment with "neutral" yeasts that bring out the true character of the grapes themselves without artificially accentuating specific traits. The wines are fermented in tank but held on the lees a full 7 to 8 months before bottling, often twice as long as most other Picpouls.