Ca Du Rabaja Barbera D’Alba 2009

Ca Du Rabaja Barbera D'Alba 2009

 Italy, $26

There are two types of wine lists out there: the ones that trot out all the usual suspects and welcome you with a list of old faves (Caymus Conundrum—hooray!). Then there are the kinds where you wonder where the heck they get their wines, because you don’t recognize half the names. It’s this latter category that are often in the hands of a passionate, sommelier—like Lucais Syme at La Quercia, L’Officio and La Pentola de la Quercia in Vancouver. Last week, the last thing I thought wanted to order was $50 barbera, even from a great producer like Ca Du Rabaja, but after one sip I realized that, in fact, this was exactly the wine I wanted. It was concentrated and with a strawberry, balsamic and pepper profile that I loved. And it proved the adage you’re better buying a great expression of mid-level wine (like barbera) than a weak expression of a great wine (like nebbiolo). (Yew in the Four Season’s also has this wine on their list (for a bit more $$$).

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