Villa Blanche Picpoul de Pinet
Laurent Calmel and Jerome Joseph are two of the nicest guys you will ever meet on the French wine scene, and are doing some pretty amazing things on their beautiful organically-farmed property just a few kms from the ancient city of Carcassonne. Visiting this estate is like something straight of an episode of Rick Stein, with the Canal du Midi passing just minutes from the property – there is little more enjoyable than sitting in one of the beautiful canal-side restaurants over a very long lunch watching holidaymakers in their rented boats negotiating the locks! Rent out the farmhouse or one of the other small, beautifully appointed gites for a real taste of French rural life. But in the meantime, their wines are a wonderful catalogue of the very best the Languedoc-Roussillon region has to offer.
If you haven’t made it over to Europe recently you may not be aware that Picpoul de Pinet is ‘the’ thing to drink with shellfish and seafood these days in both France and the UK, and that you will see it available by the glass on almost every quality wine list, especially if anywhere near the sea. Fresh and zesty, it encapsulates the briny taste of the sea with its fresh oyster-shell notes. This particular wine is left on lees for three months to add a little extra interest and texture to the green apple and citrus fruit flavours.
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