03 November 2010
Alright. In my search for exceptional French Chardonnays to pair with episodes of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, I got a little too optimistic the other day, and dropped 10eu on a bottle of intriguing Vin de Table Chardonnay by Domaine du Picatier, from the Côte Roannaise, a Rhone-Alpes region best known for good-value granitic-soil Gamay.
It made for an appropriate, if totally unenjoyable, pairing with Episodes 16, 17, & 18, which together constitute roughly the point where, Laura Palmer's killer having killed himself after confessing, the series loses all suspense and descends into silly time-wasting anarchic nonsense. The wine, whose lot number leads me to believe dated from 2008, tasted like a hasty rough draft of itself, colorless and fade. It was like a page on which you have a setting, a few scraps of dialogue, and a big question mark where you've perhaps intended, at some later date, to add a plot. The Native Companion and I eventually just wrote it off, like pretty much any scene involving the Dick Tremaine character:
The Vin de Table denomination can - as in the case of Gilles Vergé's awesome Elevé En Plein Air bottling - be a truly exciting, mysterious way for winemakers to experiment with varietals and vinification techniques not permitted in their local appellation guidelines. Not so in the case of Picatier's "Le Blanc," which for me merely confirms the wisdom of whoever excluded whites when the Côte Roannaise AOC was established in 1994. Prior to this wine I'd only tasted one other Côte Roannaise Chardonnay, that of Domaine des Pothiers, which hadn't overly impressed me, but which hadn't been so profoundly pointless as to eradicate my curiosity for the regions whites.
As the Log Lady says in her introduction to Episode 16: "There is a depression after an answer is given. It was almost fun not knowing."
I won't mention where I picked this bottle up, because I like the caviste. Instead of denouncing his bad call on the world-wide web I'll just go bust his balls about it next time I pass by.
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #1
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #2
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #3
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #4
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #5
Excellent Gamay from the Côte Roannaise