Another pioneering estate founded 40 years ago by Guy Bascou, who used to moonlight as director of Domaine de Gourgazaud and as President of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation, when not tending to his own 40 hectares or running his lab. These days, son Guilhem makes the wines with great panache, but Dad keeps a friendly eye over his shoulder. Guilhem really hit the bullseye in 2014 with a striking series of varietal reds, each of which shows impressive fidelity to its type, allied to juicy texture and discreet balance. In a new marketing approach, each is named after a local ecclesiastical figure associated with the Condamine. The low prices frankly beggar belief.
There is no more local a grape than Picpoul, the favoured quaffing white of beach-goers in the southern Languedoc. Guy Bascou just recently retired as President of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation, in which role he was quaintly prevented from having his own label. Now liberated, he offers us the most perfectly sprightly and delicious rendition imaginable.
And this one evokes Bandol in its ripe brambly aroma and iron overtones. The lithe and sappy palate shows an appropriate lick of tannin. The overall impression is of seriousness leavened with pleasure.
The latest in a series of successes with this Cinderella grape, so often consigned to minor “blending” status. In the face of such high-toned perfume, silky texture and clearly-etched flavors, one wonders why the grape is not allowed to stand on its own two feet more often. This a purely delicious wine, punching way above its weight.