In a nutshell: A crisp, subtly apply and seafood friendly Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc
The lowdown: Sometimes thought of as the Muscadet of the south Picpoul de Pinet is just as zingy, crisp and dry as its Loire Valley counterpart, but often has a little bit more of a grapey feel about it which probably accounts for it's great popularity in recent years. For Joseph Albajan's Château de la Mirande the proximity to the sea of his vines seems to lend a bright and briny character to site alongside the hint of white flowers and plentiful ripe green fruit at the core. It's not at all austere, but nicely mouthfilling while retaining all the zip and zing expected of a wine like this.
When to drink: Nicely chilled it's perfect to sip on a sunny afternoon just by itself. As well as that it'll take a platter of fresh oysters and mussels to a whole new level.
Just outside the village of Castelnau-de-Guers and overlooking the oyster producing salt water lagoon Etang de Thau in between Sète and the Mediterranean sits Joseph Albajan's 30 hectare estate spread through the Mediterranean garrigue. It's, in part, sited on pebble covered soils which store the sun's heat during the day a release it slowly during the night allowing his fruit to attain the optimum of ripeness and help make his Picpoul de Pinet wines reach their peak mouth watering zingyness.