Terre Nere Brunello Di Montalcino, Corte Riva Cabernet Sauvignon, Finca Sobreno Crianza Best Cellar Wines in LCBO Vintages Release March 31

By Gaby Israel

For the cellar

France – Chateau Haut-Surget 2009 – $24.95

So much has been said and written about this amazing vintage in Bordeaux especially in terms of  comparing its quality to other legendary vintages such as 1990 and 1982. This wine from Lalande-de-Pomerol is a typical Right-bank blend of 70% Merlot, 15% Cab Sauv, 15% Cab Franc. An excellent review in WS scored it 90-93 and thought the wine a good value. This wine could probably be cellared for 8-12 years, which makes it a GPCi bargain. So if you like good Bordeaux wines and want to try a nice example from the 2009 vintage without having to take out another mortgage, give this one a try.

Italy – Terre Nere Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 – $35.95

So here is the thing… 2006 was an outstanding vintage for both Chianti and Brunello. You won’t find too many 2006 Brunellos, at this level of quality , with these reviews (WS=92) and for $36! According to the review this wine will age gracefully (2013 -2025) and seems to be another ‘must’ for any wine lover and/or collector. This release offers you another Brunello from the 2005 vintage (the 2005 Corte Pavone Brunello) that also received a raving review by WS but costs $50. My preference from a ‘price-quality-potential cellaring’ ratio is to go with the 2006 Terre Nere. Buy 2-6 bottles.

Portugal – Delaforce Corte Vintage Port 1997 – $38.95 (WS=95)

I had the non- vintage Delaforce Port and completely fell in love with the brand. 1997 was a stellar year for Port in general and WS reviewed this effort and gave it the outstanding score of 95 (!). The price for good Vintage Ports is usually double this one. And yes, I checked, it’s the full size bottle not half… . If you are a port lover (which I am), do not skip this opportunity (will not).

United States – Napa/Sonoma – Corte Riva Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – $39.95

I’ve never had this wine before but I’ve heard so much about it. I read RP’s review – he gave the wine 93+ and indicated a long term cellaring until 2027. Judging by the review and the GPCi of this wine, I’d say, go for it and add an appreciated brand from the excellent 2005 vintage to your California section in the cellar.

Best values:

Germany – Studert-Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2007 – $17.95

One of the most consistent German Riesling producers. Never had less than exciting Riesling from this producer. 2007 was a very successful vintage for Riesling in Germany, so for $18 you cannot go wrong. This Spätlese can be enjoyed now and in the next 10+ years, which makes its GPCi insanely attractive. I’d buy 2-12 bottles. Serve chilled.

France

Domaine Grosset Cairanne Cotes-Du-Rhone-Villages 2009 – $17.95

Domaine De La Janasse Cotes-Du-Rhone 2009 – $15.95

Anything from the 2009 vintage is a safe bet especially when it comes with a $16 to $18 price tag. The Domaine Grosset Cairanne received a very supportive review by RP (90-92).  When it comes to Domaine De La Janasse, although WS gave it “only” 89, I will try it regardless. I’ve visited Domaine De La Janasse in 2006 and since, I’m completely hooked to their Châteauneuf-du-Pape. So although this is not their 2009 CdP, I’m sure it’s a great wine for the buck.

Hecht & Bannier Cote Du Roussillon Villages 2008 (RP=93) – $22.95

I would usually skip wines from 2008 in that region, but RP gave it an especially  high score of 93 and indicated that it can be cellared for 5 to 7+ years and potentially longer. Very tempting to try. I’d buy 2-4 bottles.

Spain

Finca Sobreno Crianza 2008 – $17.95

Marques De Grinon Alea Crianza 2007 – $15

Two Crianza Tempranillo (aka Tinta de Toro in the Toro region) based wines. Crianza means ‘upbringing’ – these wines were in oak barrels for up to a year (compared to Reserva and Gran Reserva that are aged in barrels for between 1 to 2+ years respectively,  and another 1 to 3 years in the bottle prior to release). 2008 is considered to be slightly better than the 2007 vintage. The Finca Sobreno received 89+ by Parker and can be cellared until 2020. And all that for $18 – very impressive! I had the Reserva version of the Marques De Grinon, which was delightful, so again, I find no risk in spending $15 on the Crianza to enjoy a lovely Rioja. Expect a good day-to-day wine.

Chile

Fabre Montmayou Reserva Malbec 2009 – $15.95

Falerina Reserva Carmenere 2007 – $16.95

Two great wines from Chile for no more than $17. Both received great reviews by Jay Miller. The Carmenere received 90 and the Malbec 91. If you plan to BBQ with friends this Spring, I’d start with the Carmenere and move “up” to the Malbec. Buy 2+2 and let the party begin…

Worth exploring:

United States- California – Quady Elysium Black Muscat (375 ml) – $14.95

United States – California – Cigarzin Zinfandel 2008 (Cosentino Winery) – $19.95

Chile – Tamari Ar Malbec 2007 – $21.95

Australia – Yalumba Viognier 2010 – $24.95

New Zealand – Millton Crazy By Nature Dry Flint Chenin Blanc 2011 – $18.95

By Gaby Israel

Gaby 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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