The Bonfils family, owners of the historic Château de Vaugelas in Corbières and Château Millegrand in Minervois, continue to expand their influence in the Languedoc with their recent commitment to the region's most important white wine. This time, instead of purchasing a domaine, Bonfils Père et Fils built a state-of-the-art winery in the picturesque fishing village of Mèze that is devoted exclusively to the production of Picpoul de Pinet.
Bonfils' hands-on CEO/Director of Winemaking, Xavier-Luc Linglin, believes that in order to ensure consistent balance of ripeness and acidity, it's necessary to source from a broad palette of micro-terroirs. Over the past decade, XL has forged relationships with several conscientious independent growers in Picpoul de Pinet's six communes, and with the chefs de cave at cooperative wineries in Pomérols and Montagnac. Cooperative wineries account for approximately 80% of the appellation's production as most of the area's growers understand the challenge of consistency and choose the safer communal
option. Freshness (fraîcheur) and bright acidity are essential in Picpoul's role as the requisite accompaniment to the oysters of the neighboring Thau Basin. L'Etang de Thau is one of the finest sources for shellfish on France's Mediterranean coast and Mèze is the Languedoc's oyster capital.
The nose is a definite "wow!" moment-- simply beautiful with floral and mineral notes, clotted cream, lanolin, lime and mixed citrus and sea spray. The palate is viscous and rich, loaded with stone fruit flavors, peach, white pear, as good acidity keeps it from flabbiness. Pair with fruits de mer this spring and summer, or a cheese plate or simply sunlight and good company.