Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue Picpoul de Pinet 2017
Bright yellow fine mineral and floral notes, vivacity of citrus aromas, density, freshness and fat combined, power
Chateau Saint-Martin de la Garrigue is considered to be one of the best vineyard properties in the south of France. The estate includes a Renaissance style castle from the 16th century and a lovely chapel from the 9th century. The property is surrounded by 100 hectares of garrigue, pine and olive trees as well as 60 hectares of vineyard composed of nine red and eight white grape varieties. The fifty plots that make up the estate vineyard stand around the castle in a typically Mediterranean environment, with eastward facing slopes and warm summers tempered by sea breezes. The vineyards are marked by the unmistakable smell of pine intermingling with the pungent aromas of evergreen oak, almond, olive, thyme, rosemary and downy cistus that dominate the surrounding Mediterranean garrigue.
The soils are composed of limestone conglomerate and red sandstone, which, together with maintaining low yields and harvesting at a late maturity of the grape, give concentrated and aromatic wines that are sure to impress and please the senses.
Sipping a glass of crisp white wine in the Mediterranean heat is an instinctive reflex, one which the inhabitants of Languedoc have met with the Picpoul grape since Roman times. The grape, widely planted until the late 19th century, became bound to the sandy soils around the Étang de Thau coastal lagoon during the phylloxera epidemic, where the root-sucking American louse cannot thrive. Picpoul de Pinet is one of the few AOCs in the Languedoc where only one grape is allowed, but the refreshing, mouthwatering quality of the wines makes clear why.
Late to ripen and high in acid, Picpoul (whose name means “lip-stinger”) does well in the coastal heat where aridity reduces the threat of downy mildew and the sea-scented breeze imbues the wine with seafood-friendly salinity. Made to be drunk young, with a fresh floral, citrus and herbal character, it will go down equally well by itself or in the company of brandade, octopus, or ceviche!
Picpoul remains one of the few wines in France named for the grape more than the place; Picpoul de Pinet refers to the white wines made exclusively from the grape called Piquepoul Blanc in the Languedoc communes of Pinet, Mèze, Florensac, Castelnau-de-Guers, Montagnac and Pomérols. Confusingly, the spelling, Piquepoul, can be used for the variety in all other appellations except for those named above. The grape is ubiquitous throughout the Languedoc. Somm Secret—Pomérols is a commune in the Languedoc-Rousillon region in the south of France and has nothing to do with the Bordeaux village of virtually the same name, Pomerol.