Saturday, August 07, 2010

Pyramid Valley Vineyards (Central Otago, NZ) and Williams-Selyem (Sonoma Coast) with dinner at Restaurant L'Atelier in Montreal

This is a belated update on a great dinner I recently had in Montreal with wonderful wine and company. I was returning for a day with colleagues and we had agreed I would bring some wine and my Montreal colleagues would pick the restaurant. They did a great job (thanks Nath). We met for dinner at Restaurant L'Atelier and it was excellent. Our server was enthusiastic, helpful and knowledgeable (doing her best for those of us who were French challenged) and the food was delicious. Poutine is a Montreal comfort food traditionally consisting of French Fries with cheese curd and brown gravy. I had L'Atelier's upscale version as an appetizer, and it was French Fries with aged cheddar, confit of rabbit and brown gravy over fresh cut fries. It would have been enough dinner on it's own. For the main course I had seared duck breast and for dessert a nougat. Nougat was new to me, sort of whipped cream or gelatin (I am not sure which) with chocolate chips and candied fruit mixed in. It was great with espresso and would have been even better with a little grappa. Excellent rich food, not subtle and not for the dieter or vegetarian. I brought two wines. We had a New Zealand Pinot Noir first. The Pyramid Valley was dark and concentrated and would have benefited either with more bottle age, or decanting. It was good from the beginning, but the last few sips had really opened up and were far better than the first pours. We learned our lesson and decanted the Williams-Selyem because I expected it to also be a rich wine. Whether from the decanting or just the wine itself, it was more of a 'wow' from the first glass. A strong dried fruit base with a lot of aromatics in the nose. I know Sonoma Cost is high on the Pinot hype scale right now, but the wines I have had from that area have been amazing. I certainly think L'Atelier is worth another visit, and I want to try a more typical downscale poutine next time I am in Montreal, though maybe with another good wine.

Via iPad

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