2011 Picpoul Blanc

Production Notes

The 2011 Tablas Creek Vineyard Picpoul Blanc (also known as Piquepoul or Piquepoul Blanc in France) is Tablas Creek’s fifth bottling of this traditional Southern Rhône varietal, used in Châteauneuf du Pape as a blending component, and best known from the crisp light green wines of the Pinet Region in the Coteaux de Languedoc. Literally translating to “lip stinger”, in France the grape is known for its bright acidity, its minerality, and a clean lemony flavor. We have found that in California, it maintains its bright acidity, but also develops an appealing tropical lushness.

Picpoul Blanc was the first supplementary varietal we brought into the country after the initial eight varietals. It went into quarantine in 1996, and was released in 1998. The first vines went into the ground in 2000. We are so excited about the varietal that in the winter of 2005-2006 we tripled our planted acreage (from 1 to 3 acres).

Our Picpoul grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.

The 2011 vintage was our second consecutive winter with healthy rainfall, but yields were dramatically reduced by two nights of frost on April 8th and 9th.  Despite the low crop loads, ripening was slow due to a very cool summer, and harvest roughly three weeks later than normal, beginning in mid-September and not concluding until mid-November.  Warm, sunny weather during harvest allowed the later-ripening varieties to reach full maturity. The long hangtime and low yields combined to produce fruit with notable richness balanced by higher than usual acidity, all at low alcohol levels. Our Picpoul was harvested on October 19th and 27th.

The Picpoul grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts in stainless steel to maintain its freshness. It completed malolactic fermentation in tank, and was bottled in May 2012.

Tasting Notes

The 2011 Picpoul Blanc shows expressive aromas of pineapple, white flowers, grilled citrus and caramel. In the mouth it is brightly acidic with flavors of pina colada broadened by a hint of toast, a lush texture surprising for those who only know Picpoul from France, then reverting to brightness on a lemony, mineral-laced finish.

Recipe Suggestions

[...more recipes]

Food Pairings

  • Fried Calamari
  • Thai dishes with lemongrass & ginger
  • Dover sole
  • Ceviche
Picpoul Blanc

Not Available for Purchase

$27.00

Blend

  • 100% Picpoul Blanc

Technical Notes

  • 13.0% Alcohol by Volume
  • 100 Cases Produced

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Join founders Robert and Barbara Haas and Winemaker Neil Collins on an intimate river cruise up the Rhone Valley from Avignon to Lyon August 2-9, 2015. Daily shore tours include a behind-the-scenes visit to Chateau de Beaucastel. Details »

 


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By Robert Haas

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