Watching Twin Peaks twenty years on, I'm still continually struck that anything this surreal and perturbing was ever shown on network television. The only contemporary equivalent that I can think of is Fox News, which for various reasons is not a fair comparison. The surrealism permeating Twin Peaks is not circumstantial, nor is it entirely played for effect; it is instead a kind of setting, a place the characters inhabit. And each time we're tempted to read the general strangeness as commentary on Twin Peaks the town, on small-town nowhere America, some bizarre character from the outside world arrives - e.g. Agent Cooper, Agent Albert, Judge Sternwood - bearing the implication that the surreal is universal.
That being said, if the town of Twin Peaks were in winemaking France, I have a feeling it would be located in the Jura, a region northeast of Burgundy in eastern France, abutting Switzerland, where some of the world's strangest Chardonnays are produced.
While the region's most famous wines, including the celebrated sherry-like vin jaune, are made from Savignin, Chardonnay covers 45% of vineyard land in the Jura, and is often blended with the former grape to create wines far-removed from the typical Burgundian / Mâconnais profile. Even the monovarietal Chardonnays, like the 2007 Ludwig Bindernagel Côtes de Jura "Sous Les Cerisiers" the Native Companion and I drank the other night as we watched Season 2, have a polarizing oxidative element to them, an echo of the flavor of vin jaune. Things are just done differently there.*
|Image swiped from lamaisonrose.info|
The unusual descriptors are entirely intentional here: good Jura Chardonnays, Bindernagel's among them, speak a different language to other wines, in a different syntax. Kind of like the eerie benign giant who visits Special Agent Cooper in his sleep and talks in riddles:
*Things are done differently chez Bindernagel as well. His is a practicing biodynamic estate, begun in 2003, that produces a wide range of tiny-production cuvées, none comprising more than 1500btls.
Bindernagel's "Sous les Cerisiers" is currently available at:
52, rue de l'Arbre Sec
Tel: 01 58 62 44 30
Various other Bindernagel bottlings are currently available at:
La Bodeguita du IVème
58, rue Quincampoix
Tel: 06 19 36 70 06