16 November 2010

honorary member: twin peaks & vin de pays de sainte marie la blanche

I'm not cut out for sticking to themes. Faced with a choice between two mid-range organic Mâcon Chardonnays that I knew to be a little heavy around the waist and Emmanuel Giboulot's crackingly great (and great value) "Terres Burgondes" blanc, I had to spring for the latter, even if, not being Chardonnay, it threatened the thematic integrity of my blog series.

Giboulot's "Terre Burgondes" is 100% Pinot Beurot, which is the name they use for the smattering of Pinot Gris in Burgundy. Pinot Gris is in turn synonymous with the grape many Americans request when they desire a wine with no character at all: Pinot Grigio.*

So I sat around with the Native Companion the other night watching Twin Peaks drinking a bottle of PG.

Emmanual Giboulot is a biodynamic vigneron based in Beaune who makes an impressive range of more traditional Burgundies from Hauts-Côtes de Nuit and Côtes de Beaune. His Vin de Pays de Sainte Marie La Blanche - a blanket appellation introduced in 1996 covering several villages south of the Côte d'Or - is kind of an oddity in the line-up. Pinot Gris, a grape more associated with Alsace, derived from Burgundian soil. The result from 2009 is not exceptionally aromatic, just a low-toned fennel thing on the nose, but the palate is at once concentrated, firmly mineral, and somehow coy - it recedes on the tongue for a bit until a brilliant, almost liquoroso burst of citrus peel and citrus oil on the finish.

Almost the opposite in structure, then, to Twin Peaks Season Two, which packs all the revelations into the first few episodes and then gets coy, primarily on the subject of why anyone should continue watching. The hazy subplot involving Evelyn, a joltingly archetypal early-90's babe amalgam with car and spousal issues, manages to be uninteresting even as it plays like a rough rehearsal sketch of Lost Highway.

Image swiped from chud.com.
I'd had the 2007 vintage of "Terres Burgondes" earlier this year, and remember it being a little less exotic but actually more enjoyable for it. In fact when I drank that vintage I'd been unaware that it wasn't Chardonnay, which attests either to my drunken inattentiveness or the power of Burgundian terroir. In either case it's a leftfield Pinot Gris that fits right in with the more traditional wines of the region, if not flavor-wise then at least in spiritual terms. It's an honest wine that expresses the land from which it derives in the accent of the grape from which it's made.

Kind of like how Agent Cooper fits right in with the Bookhouse Boys, Twin Peaks' secret society of upstanding local menfolk.

One of the few pleasures of the latter half of the second series is watching Kyle MacLachlan look continually touchingly awed, first at being made an honorary Bookhouse Boy, later at being officially Deputized by Sheriff Harry Truman.

*I would theorize that the Italian name caught on like the French version never did because: a) it was never associated with unfashionable off-dry or sweet Alsatian wine, and b) pronouncing French terrifies non-French consumers in a way that Italian doesn't seem to. Americans horse around with Italian. Think: Spaghetti-O's, Rice-A-Roni, etc.

Giboulot's 2009 "Terres Burgondes" is currently available at:

6, rue Bailleul
75001 PARIS
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli or Chatelet
Tel: 01 45 96 05 72

52, rue de l'Arbre Sec
75001 PARIS
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli
Tel: 01 58 62 44 30

Related Links: 
Digging the glass pours at Spring Buvette
Fall Wine Preview at Spring Boutique
Domaine Chandon de Briailles Critique at Spring Boutique
José Peña Sardine Tasting at Spring Boutique

A profile of Giboulot @ WineTerroirs
More on Giboulot @ WineTerroirs

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