Bu is a Montreal wine bar ... well, sort of. Yes, it has an extensive list of wines and special "flights" of wines by the glass (constantly changing), but technically you cannot just sit down and have a drink - you have to order from the kitchen.
Which brings me to the main reason you need to visit Bu - the food. Yes, the wine list is great and the flights are interesting and challenging, but the star is Ms. Alba Delgado, "la chef de cuisine", who brings her twenty years in Italy to a tight selection of flavourful and impeccably-made Italian classics. I've been twice now and I had the "risotto du jour" both times - amongst the best risottos in town. But I digress....
Tonight's intrepid trio of wine tasters included myself, Marcus (who has moved over to Facebook), and my bro-in-law. Our opening flight featured a few whites:
2006 Cecilia Zeta del Tucano (Vermentino di Toscana)
2006 Odysseus (Priorat)
2006 Domaine Larue St-Aubin 1er Cru "Murgers des Dents de Chien" (Burgundy)
The Cecilia was thin and light, with creamy apple and key lime notes... crisp, green and unoaked, not bad. The Odysseus, crafted from Pedro Ximenez grapes, was soft and flavourful on the palate...cantaloupe, pears and applesauce on the nose, a touch hot - I had it pegged for a dry Jurancon (see Alder's winery description). The Domaine Larue was my first from this Burgundian appellation - an oaky, creamy, smokey-apple chardonnay with an up-front minerality that I thought was Californian - expensive and too much oak.
After we washed down the appetizers with the whites we switched to reds for the main course:
2004 Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot (Chambolle-Musigny)
2005 Philippe Alliet Coteau de Noire (Chinon)
2001 Joseph Swan Mancini Ranch Zinfandel (Russian River)
The Alliet Chinon was my favourite and easily identified...green pepper, damp undergrowth, flint and inky blackberry - dry woodsy tannins and crisp acidity on the palate, a long finish, YUM. The Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot had to be the least typical red Burgundy I have ever tasted - meaty walnuts and red berry fruit on the nose, but unbalanced on the palate with a sharp acidic frame and flavours of rusty nails - no one picked this as a pinot, much less Burgundy. The Swan Zin was tired, old, alcohol-y cooked fruit, I was thinking Nero d'Avola on this one (a term I occasionally use to describe an unidentified red wine I don't like...).
But Swan made it up to us, as we enjoyed a glass of the 2001 Joseph Swan Trenton Estate Syrah (Russian River) to finish the evening - meaty, dark berry fruit and cedary black pepper on the nose, blackberries wrapped in velvety tannins on the palate, a wine that is hitting its stride at 7 years old.
Sorry for the delay, Marcus - cheers!