My last trip to La Colombe was stunning - fantastic food and a trio of stunning wines. But for tonight's meal my good friend Andreas put a bit more thought into the wine pairings, reviewing the menu before we went and bringing wines he thought would work well.
Like Sauternes and Foie Gras? Apparently a miracle pairing, but I rarely take part in either - I HAVE been missing out! The 2001 Château Bastor-Lamontagne was a very nice Sauternes - peaches and cream, tangy grapefruit, and a hint of sweet spice on the nose. Soft with tangy peaches on the palate, minerally and green - a magical pairing with a "foie gras poêlé" Score: 17/20
For my next course I ordered the snails in a mild blue cheese sauce, which I paired with a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc - the dish and the wine were independently delicious, but these did not work together very well (any thoughts on what to pair with this one?).
My contribution for the evening was a 2002 Yalumba "Hand Picked" Shiraz+Viognier, which I attempted to pair with a large duck breast with a berry sauce on top. With a nose of plummy lavender, vanilla, peppery blackberries, smokey leather and slate it seemed a good match, and it was, but it was not as balanced as I had hoped - a touch more awkward on the palate than I recall from one year ago..., Score: 17.5/20
Andreas contributed a main course wine as well, the 2003 Morgante Don Antonio Nero d'Avola, which was a logical choice for the gamey comfort food featured at La Colombe. Notes of basil, tobacco and cedary plums on the nose, and plum, plum, plummy on the palate. Light and grainy in texture, but a touch hot and slightly unbalanced. You are unlikely to find a finer, more elegant, example of Nero ... another great match, for venison. Score: 17/20
With dessert wine for an appetizer, what do we do for dessert? Icewine! A hometown wine that I picked up last summer, the 2004 Taillefer Lafon Icewine delivered earthy, appley "Werther's" candy on the nose and spicy, tangy caramel apples on the palate. Very flavourful, some cripsness but bit cloying, Score: 16.5/20
I highly recommend, once again, a visit to La Colombe - a top notch BYO Restaurant in Montreal. And if you haven't tried Sauternes and Foie Gras, you just don't know what you are missing...