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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Favourites - Domaine Félines-Jourdan (Picpoul de Pinet)

Picpoul de Pinet is a very local production from the white piquepoul grape in the area round the small village of Pinet north of Mèze.  The wine is seen locally as an ideal accompaniment to the oysters and other seafood from the neighbouring Étang de Thau, but the Jourdan Picpoul is in a different league, richer and more complex, and a favourite white wine of Wine Society buyers and members alike for many years, and now receiving good notices from all over the world.

When we first went in the mid-1990s there were already also very good VdP wines (a red called Sensations and a barrel aged sweet muscat - still made - which is delicious).  Now Claude Jourdan has built on her success and has AOC red and white wines (the white is mainly Roussanne which we have yet to try, but we're betting it's good!) and a range of vins de pays, many single-cépage, but including two blended wines, a red and a white.  Quite a large range for a fairly small producer, and we are really looking forward to trying them.  Watch this space!  See the website (below) for more information.

This is a splendid location, flat and open, very near the shores of the Etang.  Finding it used to be one of those peculiarly French adventures involving 2km  of deserted road, although now there are more signs.  But you still need to take care not to end up at the huge déchetterie which collects all the oyster shells from the restaurants and sales along the shore.  From the centre of Mèze you follow Écosite signs and carry on beyond the Ecosite for another km; there are other routes on the map but we discovered that they can lead to divorce or despair!  It is essential to phone ahead to arrange your visit: 04 67 43 69 29.

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