Picpoul de Pinet Wine
Nowhere better illustrates the concept of a wine being produced to partner the local cuisine than Picpoul de Pinet on the banks of the Bassin de Thau, the vast saltwater lagoon that spans the Mediterranean coast between Adge and Sète. The Bassin serves as a giant hatchery for oysters and mussels that can be bought by the kilo to take away or enjoyed sur place in the seafood restaurants that line its shores.
The village of Pinet is the foremost of six wine-making communes deploying the local grape 'Piquepoul' and the amalgamation of the grape and place give us the wine 'Picpoul de Pinet'. Its raison d'être is to accompany the bivalves cultivated in the lagoon and if you order a glass or bottle of wine anywhere in the vicinity, that is what you will be served.
Today, Picpoul de Pinet is hugely popular - ergo widely-available - in the UK but when we first decided to try and source one, back in 2004, it was virtually unknown. We were thus able to sample examples from many of the best producers unhindered and consequently placed an inaugural order of our preferred wine with Domaine Gaujal. Sixteen years subsequently we remain equally enamoured. With a limpid pale robe, ozone fresh bouquet and zesty, mineral-edged palate, it's a benchmark example. Bring on the fruits de mer!