2020 Paix Sur Terre, Picpoul Blanc, Glenrose Vineyard, Adelaida District, Paso Robles.
A new winery for me, the Paix Sur Terre label, made by Ryan Peace, located on Vineyard Drive on Paso Robles’ westside, made this really tasty and vibrant Picpoul, one of the rare Chateauneuf du Pape (Rhone) white grapes that is most famous for the Languedoc’s zesty Picpoul de Pinet, which still is one of the south of France’s best values in white wine and a grape that is showing a real promise here in California, especially here, where it enjoys the limestone soils. Tasted blind, I seriously had hilariously wrong guesses trying to figure it out, though it did let help me see the aromatics and slight fruitiness, as well as the wine’s nice mineral element. Peace started Paix Sur Terre in 2010 and is producing some very compelling wines with an intriguing collection of whites and reds, including this delightful Picpoul, as well as single varietal Ugni Blanc, Counoise, Clairette Blanche, Syrah and Mourvedre along with a set of Rhone red blends featuring Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault, to name a few.

The Paix Sur Terre 2020 Picpoul Blanc, sourced from the Glenrose Vineyard and two distinct parcels on the property, one on the warm southern exposed summit, and the other from the much cooler east-facing ridge line, providing a ying and yang of ripeness that gave it more complexity and zippiness. The Picpoul fruit was picked at night to retain freshness, then the cool grapes were whole-cluster pressed, as the winery notes, to stainless steel tank and fermented with specially select (the) Champagne yeast culture. After fermenting the Picpoul to dryness, the wine was then racked off the lees to a stainless steel tank and the aged for just two months before bottling with a gentle sterile filtering for clarity. Everything here was done to promote freshness and sharp detail, making for a crisp and bright white wine that goes great with Summer cuisine and is perfect for a variety of sea foods and especially shellfish dishes. This 2020 is ripe and gains roundness with air, while still retaining an inner energy from its natural acidity with white peach, lemon/lime, melon and a touch of tropical fruit along with a fine chalkiness, wet stones, citrus blossoms and tangy herbs. A big thank you to my friend Marc Takahashi of the Pebble Beach market who introduced me to this winery and wine, he is a big fan of Ryan’s wines, as now I am as well!
($32 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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