Picpoul Blanc 2016
Anna's Estate Vineyard
90pts, Doug Wilder
90 points, Purely Domestic Wine Report
The nose is golden current, dried lemon with a subtle note of baked stone fruit tart with butter crumb crust. The palate is a crisp lemon and nectarine with a dewy melon on the finish along with bright, integrated acidity. Drink 2017 – 2020.
Picpoul Blanc is an ancient variety, a native of the Languedoc region of southern France. Known for its ultra crisp lemon-tang personality, it is sometimes called the Muscadet of the Mediterranean. In Occitan, the local dialect, Picpoul translates as “stings-the-lips.” Adelaida planted 1.8 acres of this obscure grape in 2007 in a lower elevation, southwest facing corner of our Anna’s Vineyard. Often blended with other richly endowed white Rhone varieties to add a dollop of characteristic bright acidity, as a stand-alone variety it is particularly worthy of seafood matching possessing a fresh mineral tinged tropical complexity.
The wine is star bright with greenish-yellow glints, giving off aromatics of citrus rind, pineapple and wheatgrass leading to crisp, pungent flavors of lime and grapefruit, finishing with length and a taste of preserved lemons and tropical greenness. Best enjoyed in the near term, drink through 2020.
Sea Scallops in lemon basil butter over angel hair pasta; Braised chicken thighs with olives, lemon and fennel; lump meat crab salad with mint and Vietnamese fish sauce
Named for Elizabeth Van Steenwyk’s grandmother, this mountainous 48-acre vineyard sits above and around HMR vineyard and supports Adelaida’s Rhône program. The white varieties planted in 2007 lie at the lowest point of the vineyard where they benefit from a pooling of cooler air. Viognier is planted near the top as it thrives when it is warmer and receives more sun. The red varieties, planted between 2001 and 2006, benefit from ideal sun exposure at the top of the steep, south-facing ridge location and exhibit the nuanced flavors of their elevated mountain site.
Always picked near the end of the harvest season, this year in the last week of September, the fruit overcame the stress of the continuing drought yielding plump clusters of greenish tinged juice. An early morning pick, the grapes were hand sorted, whole cluster bladder-pressed, moved to tank for an overnight settling, then transferred to mostly neutral French oak barrels (10% new) where it fermented on indigenous yeast, underwent a partial malo-lactic conversion and rested on its yeast lees for eight months.
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