Summer is in full effect and crisp whites and rose wines are the stars of the show on patios and dinner tables. One of my favorite go-to warm weather whites has become Picpoul Blanc.
A varietal grown primarily in the Rhone and Languedoc regions of France, Picpoul comes in red, white and blush. The red and white are sanctioned for use in the legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
If you have seen me at the girl & the fig bar, it is most likely Picpoul blanc in my glass, as they are one of the few restaurants in the region that carries the varietal by the glass (and bottle).
Picpoul in either form is a rare occurrence in the US and Anaba Wines, based in Sonoma, is one of the very few producers working with Picpoul blanc (and Grenache Blanc) in the country.
Anaba’s 2015 Picpoul Blanc from Snow Vineyard, which is located on the east side of the City of Sonoma. Picpoul is a grape that loves warm days, cool nights, and a breezy environment.
The wine is light in color, almost clear. The nose is reminiscent of fruit cereal (think: Fruity Pebbles) and lime zest. My favorite Picpoul blanc is grown in the Languedoc region, near the Étang de Thau lagoon, which gives those wines often fresh water notes and briny qualities. While this wine lacks the briny taste, the nose is full of river stone and fresh rain.
The mouth feel is full, with a quick strip of acid on the tongue and a nice minerality. Toss in flavors of honeydew, lime, kiwi and a kick of white pepper and you have a wine that pairs great with spicy Chinese or Thai food and fresh rock shrimp on a crisp salad. Sauvignon Blanc’s will love this wine.
Anaba Wines 2015 Picpoul Blanc from Snow Vineyard ($28) is available at their tasting room at 60 Bonneau Rd, Sonoma (707-996-4188) and at the girl & the fig (110 W Spain St, Sonoma). anabawines.com