I’m told the Baron De Guers Picpoul De Pinet is one of Sainsbury’s best selling wines. But is its popularity justified?
My usual tactic when choosing a wine is to go for the most unusual one I can find. Taiwanese Cabernet Sauvignon? Why the hell not?! Cambodian Gewürztraminer? Sure, fill me up!
On this occasion, I decided to flip things around. In Sainsbury’s, I asked the wine-aisle guy to recommend me their most popular white wine in the £8-£12 bracket. I got the impression not many people have asked him this before, and he proceeded to show me just about every bottle they stock. “Ooh this one’s lovely. This is overrated. This one’s good value…”
Bless him. He was a lovely guy and really knew his stuff. Eventually we settled on the Baron de Guers Picpoul de Pinet which, to my surprise, was the only Picpoul they had.
The reason this surprised me was that over the past decade or so, Picpoul (also spelt Piquepoul) has become the Pinot Grigio it’s ok to name-drop. Sure, it’s light, refreshing and reliably inoffensive, but also a bit more hip than Pinot G, the reputation of which has suffered from the over-production of cheap, watery, flavour-free varieties.
Mostly cultivated in the Rhone and Languedoc regions of France, the Picpoul grape comes in both red and white varieties (the white being the more common) and is one of the many ingredients in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend.
All Picpoul de Pinet wine comes from a designated region of the Languedoc in southern France. This one’s from Pomérols (not to be confused with Pomerol, which is a posh red from Bordeaux).
By the way, Picpoul de Pinet translates as “sting of the lips”, which is a clue to its sharp, acidic…
Easy to guzzle and lightish on alcohol at 12.5% vol, the Baron de Guers Picpoul de Pinet has apple on the nose, although it’s not quite as zinging with sour cooking apple flavours as some, more expensive, Picpouls.
No, this one has almost a subtle breadyness to it, that makes it closer to, say, a soft Chardonnay than a sharp Vinho Verde. Could a short time spent on the lees account for this? My research was inconclusive, but I reckon it’s a possibility. On the palate, it’s citrusy lime with some honey sweetness.
This is a Picpoul de Pinet that people who like Chardonnay should enjoy. It’s not exactly a “lip stinger” but is well priced at £8 and obviously it’ll go well with seafood. As you can see above, the bottle/label is elegantly designed too; it’ll look good on your dining table. With all this in mind, it’s just about worth…
4 NINJA STARS
Baron De Guers Picpoul De Pinet from Sainsbury’s: £8. 12.5% vol