After many years in Montreal we finally visited the highly-regarded restaurant Toqué! to celebrate our wedding anniversary. And in a sign of just how strong this relationship is, my wife provided me a camera to take a picture of the label above, and even lent me a pen to score the wine (yes, that was a score sheet in my pocket...). I dare you to try that on your anniversary!
Facing a rather confusing pairing - Guinea Hen Sausage and Duck Comfit Ravioli for appetizers, scallops and Guinea Hen for the main course - I threw myself at the mercy of sommelier, Pascal, who quickly steered us to the 2004 "Les Bruyères" to pair with all (I was thinking Chablis, so we weren't far off, and he saved me some dough). This wine, a Chardonnay produced by Stephane Tissot in the Arbois region of Jura, is my first encounter with a Jura wine. Rather unlike any Chardonnay you have ever tasted, it was a bold move by Pascal - I am not sure this would have gone over very well with everyone. Probably the first time I have seen a white decanted at a restaurant, it wasn't for show, as this wine had a powerful, pungent aroma that needed some oxygen. Straw yelow, it started with an overpowering scent of petrol and oak, very un-chardonnay. As the oxygen massaged it, the wine threw off scents of lemon peel, almonds and fresh cut grass, with a subtle hint of white flowers. On the palate I wrote medium- to full-bodied, minerally, substantial, with a nice bitter aftertaste. Very unusual, very powerful, this wine needs time in the cellar.
Finally, I should congratulate Toqué! A pricey restaurant, but the food was exquisite and the service was outstanding. And they know their customer - they even took me down to visit their cellar, noticing my rather obvious drooling at the glass...