So, how did Joe turn a family event into a wine tasting? While out berry picking we drove by a suspicious-looking, modern-styled building in the farm district of Laval with a modest sign: "Chateau Taillefer Lafon". The rows of vines out back could mean only one thing - leave it to Joe to find a winery in suburban Montreal (pop. 3 million)!
I left the car idling and ran into the winery, figuring I could quickly buy two bottles and run back to the car. The tasting room host would have none of that, and made me taste his entire line of wine - white (unoaked), white (oaked), vendange tardive (late harvest) and ice wine. I successfully avoided the rose and the red, despite his hospitality and enthusiasm, as I am terrified of Northern Reds. After 5-10 minutes in the tasting room, I returned to the car with two bottles to face a scowling family - you know, they could be more supportive of Daddy's hobby.
Tasted at home, the 2006 Chateau Taillefer Lafon Cuvee Premium (unoaked) was a pale straw yellow. It was Fruitopia on the nose, with scents of fresh pink grapefruit, pineapple and pear - mouthwatering. On the palate this light-bodied, viscous wine was slightly off-dry with nice balance and good acidity, but somewhat dilute. Very competent, well-priced, and I wonder how the wines will improve as the vines mature... Worth a visit - my other purchase was their Ice Wine.
So, to my Montreal readers, especially those in the Laval area, stop by the winery on your way back from the nursery and pick up a bottle of estate-bottled St-Laurence Valley wine. The tasting room is opulent, the hosts are gracious, the wines are very competent, and the location - well it doesn't get much closer than this. Cheers!