A heterodoxical winter. No blanket of white stuff.  To that inclination I travel against the grain for an encounter with three smoking pearls off the list at Barque.


JEAN-LUC COLOMBO VIOGNIER ‘LA VIOLETTE’ 2010 ($18.25) shows great floral intensity for a Vin de Pays d’Oc.  Condrieu intuition coaxes spiced nuts and yerba apricot tea from grapes grown in Languedoc. I waver not from the joy in its necessity, even as it descends a wafer thin minty slope to peter out. Certainly prettier than a Flyer’s coach.  88








FIELDING ESTATE CHARDONNAY UNOAKED 2008 ($13.95) is squeaky clean and cheap so “my money flows like wine.” The band plays Dixie while I eat too much chicken, the food and wine marching saintly, effortlessly in. More Mutsu than Meyer, more alfalfa than clover.  A golden, herbal remedy.  87








PIEROPAN SOAVE CLASSICO 2010 ($19.95) is spring in winter, perennial in its success, consistent and always sharp in attack. Garganega that is oddly mindful of lemon paraffin wax tubes from the Wiz having gone to college in the Loire and now living as a mature adult in the Veneto. Opiate anaesthetic on the finish renders teeth and gums numb and void.  89











Good to go!

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