Tag Archives: 2009

Mt. Boucherie Blaufrankisch Summit Reserve 2009

summit reserve blaufrankisch 2009

BC, $25

Stroll into the BC section of your local wine store, and you’d be forgiven if you thought that Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Gris were the founding grapes of our wine region. The truth is that we started out with a lot of odd hybrid and oddball grapes—Marechal Foch stills pops up now and then, as does Ehrenfelser on the white sid but you also had Dunkelfelder and Rotberger. Which brings us to Blaufrankisch: If I’ve had one Blaufrankisch, I’ve had…one Bluafrankisch. Well, more if you include all the Washington State Lemberger (which is the same grape, but not exactly a best-seller either) but the truth is, we’re entering into serious niche territory here and that’s awesome.

It’s a deep dark colour (the grape is used in a quasi-legendary Hungarian wine called Bull’s Blood) and has some spice on the nose, but it’s on the palate—more loaded with blueberry than any wine in recent memory—that you see how it got its name (the “blau” being “blue” for our German pals). It has a light feel in the mouth (its thinness offset by what I assume is some pretty solid oak aging) and some serious tannin. Above all, though, it’s unique, unlike the oceans of bland Cab or Merlot, which means you’ll have a definite opinion on this wine. I really liked it, tickled by its history and bold taste, but my wife remained solidly on the fence. I can assure you you’ll remember it long after other wines have come and gone—and if that’s not worth $25, I don’t know what is.

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Ricossa Barbaresco 2009

Ricossa Barbaresco 2009

Italy, $22

In wine as in life, things that are usually too good to be true should be avoided. (That 75-percent-off beef tenderloin comes to mind.) So when I saw a $22 bottle of Barbaresco, I was wary. The famed Piedmont wine normally starts at about $50, and sublime expressions are regularly triple that. The noble nebbiolo grape just doesn’t do well when grown in the quantities needed to make a $22 of wine. But damned if this bottle wasn’t half bad, and frankly a lot more interesting that many bottles at the same price range. You have some of the lovely supple leather and dried herb and fruit notes of a classic barbaresco, and if the concentration is a little lacking, well, think about those extra $20s in your wallet.

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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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