Epsilon Shiraz, Australia, Xavier, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Ravenswood Zinfandel, California Top Cellar Wines in LCBO Vintages Release February 4

By Gaby Israel

2009 Epsilon Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia – $24.95

2009 was the third in a row series of ‘Good’ yet not amazing vintages in the Barossa region. Nevertheless, based on James Halliday’s review as well as Natalie’s, who gave it 90 and 92 respectively, it seems a successful effort for the vintage. This Shiraz is made for short-medium term cellaring, which makes the GPCi challenging. If you need to carefully allocate your cellar budget this month, I’d wait and read on…

2009 Xavier , A.C., Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône – $39.95

The hunt for great 2009 CdP continuous… Consistently great reviews by Parker, Natalie and others. A blend of 55% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah. Can be cellared for 10-12+ years, which makes it a better option than the Epsilon although it’s more expensive (don’t you love the GPCi concept… One of the things that got my attention in one of the reviews was the indication of ‘low acidity’, which for me, takes the wine to potentially different levels of enjoyment. I’d buy 2-6 bottles.

2005 Corte Pavone Brunello Di Montalcino Loacker, D.O.C.G – $49.95

2005 may not be as outstanding as 2004 or 2006, but this Brunello seems to succeed and extract the vintage’s maximum potential. Both Winespectator and Natalie MacLean rewarded this wine with a very respectful 92. From a cellar ‘investment’ point of view, it would be ‘wiser’ to buy the 2009 Xavier CdP due to its GPCi. But if money isn’t a constraint, I’d add this beauty to the Italian section in the cellar.

2009 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vine, Lodi, California – $19.95

One of my favorite Zins. Consistently delivers for the money. For this quality and price you won’t find a lot of competition. An excellent choice for this winter. By itself or with nice stew dish near the fireplace. For immediate to short term cellaring.

2004 Prinz Von Hessen Riesling Spätlese Winkeler Hasensprung, Q.M.P., Rheingau – $25.95

From the classic 2004 vintage. A cellar worthy Riesling Spätlese. These Rieslings when they’re made as good as this one, they can gracefully age for 8-15+ years, which makes them a bargain for the cellar. Try it with pork tenderloin, onion soup or after dinner with a warm apple pie.

Gaby 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 US and others.

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