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By Gaby Israel

The release we’ve been all waiting for – Smart Buys! After the last two expensive releases, January comes and gives us hope for the new year. Here are my top picks:

#1 choice – Spain – Ribera del duero – Finca Villacreces Pruno 2010 (312140)-$19.95

2010 was a remarkable vintage in that region in Spain. wine critics have provided very supportive reviews indicating a 10 years cellaring potential, and for $20, this is a very attractive buy. I’d buy 3-12 bottles. About the winery/vineyard from www.DrinkRiberawine.com: “The first vines were planted on this amazing estate in the 13th Century. Located next to the mythic Vega Sicilia and surrounded by the Duero River, it is an incredible spot boasting the best soil for the growth of vines. The main varietal grown on the property is Tempranillo, although they also have Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and an area for experimental varieties.”

#2 choice – Argentina – Mendoza – Dieter Meier Puro Corte 2010 (305094)-$16.95

Yet another interesting blend of 34% Malbec, 33% Cab Sauv and 33% Syrah. Sounds like an excellent choice for my friend Yuval N’s palate. Although it is not meant to be cellared for many years, it seems an excellent day-to-day choice. From www.worldwinehq.com: “At 1000 meters above sea level, the dry, hot climate, the extreme temperature differences between night and day, and the melting water from the Andes create ideal conditions for organically cultivated wine of outstanding quality.”

#3 choice – Spain – DO – Duran Gran Reserva Brut 2007 (299818)-$16.95

Although it’s after the new year’s eve, having a good sparkling wine in the fridge is always a good idea especially when it costs $17. Try this one with Sushi. What got my attention beside the low price is the history of the winery and the approach the family is proudly taking in producing these fine bubbly. From www.cavaduran.com: “Ramon Canals, pharmacist and oenologist, is the third generation of the family. Duran Gran Reserva project was born from a professional interest in elaborating only high quality sparkling wines, in the Penedes area, which are at the same level as the best sparkling wines in the world.”

#4 choice – United States – Guenoc Valley, Lake Country – Langtry Guenoc Petite Sirah 2011 (019935)-$17.95

I love a good full-flavored Petite Sirah, especially when it’s wrapped in an $18 package. Coming from a lesser known region in the US. I’d buy 3-6 bottles and have it withthe many BBQs that we do during the winter weekends. Nothing like a good heavy wine on a cold winter day. From www.langtryestate.com: “The Langtry Estate is located in the picturesque Guenoc Valley of Lake County. The winery itself was originally built in 1981 to resemble the old Langtry barn still standing across from the Gebhard Hunting Lodge two miles south of the winery.”

 

July new pic of  GabyGaby Israel has been providing wine tasting notes and buying recommendations for several years now.

The name WineGPCi (pronounced Wine Gypsy) was given by his friends. GPCi stands for Gaby’s Potential Cellaring Index. While searching for “treasures for the cellar” without going to the bank, the GPCi was initially used to calculate the ratio between the price of the wine and the number of years it can potentially be cellared for; trying to find the wines that had the smallest index/ratio possible.

Any good wine that had a GPCi of 3.5 and under, was worth buying (mainly if you were planning to develop a cellar). Many years and “750 bottles in the cellar” after, his knowledge, experience and passion continued to grow. He continues to focus on helping the consumer finding “logical” ways of buying wines and planning the budget for it.

His great passion for wine revolves around old-world wines such as Spain, France and Italy while experimenting the new world exciting regions of Chile, Argentina, Australia, Canada, the United States and others.