On the most romantic night of the year, many of us will be reaching for a bottle of fizz with which to woo our beloved… but we at Taste of France like to mix things up a little now and then. We say that if you really want to impress your heart’s desire, steer clear of the sparklers and go for a cool and chic Picpoul de Pinet.

This one from Ormarine, the leading producer of AOP Picpoul de Pinet, is made from 100% piquepoul blanc which is matured on fine lees. Called Excellence de l’Ormarine (2021), it is the first wine in the south of France to use this particular process.

Located next to the beautiful Étang de Thau in Languedoc-Roussillon, Ormarine’s vineyards are cooled at night by the refreshing sea breezes from the salt water lagoon beside the Mediterranean which help to retain the freshness in the grapes as well as giving the wines their subtle, but moreish saline flavours.  

Excellence is made from grapes picked from vines aged 15 years and over, and after pressing, the coarse lees are separated from the juice and filtered and vinified separately. Then if the aromatic quality is sufficient they are reincorporated. The wine then remains on its lees in concrete vats for several months until the following spring, with regular stirring to add aromatic complexity and richness to the palate. 

The Ormarine vineyards are cultivated using sustainable practices and since 2018, the winery has been certified by Terra Vitis.

Tasting Notes

A refreshing and expressive Picpoul, expect floral nuances of acacia and hawthorn blossom, stone fruits and zesty citrus notes through to a long, delicious and mouthwatering finish. Excellence has all the familiar characteristics of Picpoul de Pinet but with a fuller mouth feel and added complexity. 

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Food Pairing

Like all Picpouls, it’s a great match with oysters and other shellfish, but due to the lees ageing and the added complexity and body, Excellence also goes well with soft cheeses like goat’s cheese. 

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