21 January 2011

too good to be true: twin peaks & dauvissat chablis

It was perhaps perceptible from my uncharacteristic silence on all things Twin Peaks for the past month or so that I have indeed finished watching Season 2. There are no more seasons now. At some point my friend F and I just succumbed to the temptation to race through two or three episodes per night, either because the episode we had previously watched was so gripping, and we wanted to watch further, or because the episode just passed had been totally pointless, so we wanted to fast forward, as it were, by watching further.

The net result is that I skipped reporting on a few bottles of terrific Chardonnay I'd purchased specially to pair with Twin Peaks. Like, for instance, a 2008 Chablis by Vincent Dauvissat, cousin of the legendary Raveneau brothers, and a legendary vigneron in his own right. Dauvissat produces (to my knowledge) four premier crus and one grand cru, none of which I elected to splash out on, when I saw them at Caves du Marais, since the occasion was to be just a simple night in.*

Instead F and I sipped the normale, a wine whose gentle good graces are so predetermined as to feel almost unearned, like Billy Zane's sauve successful rich-kid character John Justice Wheeler, who saunters onscreen towards the middle of Season 2, promising intrigue or character reversal but delivering neither.

When I criticise a wine like this, it's more a measure of my own perverse tastes, rather than the actual merits of the wine. Dauvissat's basic 2008 Chablis has very soft hands; it wears suede; it has an eye-popping mango-toned nose, a pie-like lemon pick-up, followed by a well-judged shade of oak. The mango nose was admittedly a surprise - there was just no mistaking it, I had visions of Jamba Juice.

But you could call it the equivalent of John Justice Wheeler's inexplicable amateur chemistry scene. It's strange, seeing him in nerd gear. But it can't rescue the character from being too wishy washy and classic for my liking.

If I were writing the Wheeler character, I would have at very least arranged for him to have halitosis, or a minor foot fetish, or something.

* The most devastating aspect of maintaining a blog, I find, is that one's private experiences, since they all have the potential to eventually be publicized, become subject to the same dangerous impulses of conspicuous consumption that inspire public displays of moron largesse, like ordering unreasonably expensive wines, or signing up for a restaurant's three-course dessert tasting.

Caves du Marais
62 et 64, rue François Miron
75004 PARIS
Metro: Saint Paul
Tel: 01 42 78 54 64

Related Links:

Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #1: Petit Chablis
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #2: Saint-Véran
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #3: Pouilly-Fuissé
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #4: Mâcon-Chaintré
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #5: Côtes du Jura
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #6: Côte Roannaise
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #7: Vin de Pays de Sainte Marie la Blanche
Twin Peaks & Chardonnay #8: Arbois

Belatedly discovering Caves du Marais

A rundown of 2007 Dauvissat wines by Stephen Tanzer @ RegalWineCo.
A tasting of 2007 Dauvissat wines @ WineTerroirs
A kind of subjective, self-promoting essay on terroir by Vincent Dauvissat @ KermitLynch


  1. Had a Raveneau Chablis at A La Biche au Bois in '09 at an absolutely ridiculous price--well below retail. Could not understand how they could sell it at that price. Check it out and see whether it's still on the list

  2. 'four premier crus and one grand cru'--

    Les Preuses is a grand cru, so two of those. A 2002 Les Clos is one of the top white wines I've ever had (not that there's a lot of grand cru Burgundy in my experience). And I think he's related to the Raveneaus by marriage.