By Gaby Israel

Here’s my best cellar wines list for this release as a shopping list that you can print and will show you LCBO stock availability.

Top picks $16-$26

#1 choice – Italy – Mazzei Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 (288530)-$25.95

It’s not that often you see WS rating a wine with 95 and the wine costs $26.00.  2007 (together with 2006) was an outstanding vintage in Tuscany. This Chianti Riserva sounds more than promising. These wines can gracefully age for 8-12 years. I would buy 3-12 bottles.

#2 choice – Spain – Arrocal 2009 (067868)-$16.95

This wine is their entry level wine. Their Arrocal Seleccion costs double and is a very rewarding modern style Spanish wine. Based on the fact that 2009 was a classic vintage in Ribera Del Duero – 94 per RP, and based on the fact that RP gave this wine 90, it should definitely be on your list of house wines. Consume within the next  3-5 years.

#3 choice – France – Chateau Lafont Fourcat 2010 (295790)-$15.95

This property of 8 ha (19.8 acres) sits on clayey-limestone soil and offers a generous wine. The vineyards of Chateau Lafont Fourcat dominate the valley. Its vines are planted in terrace in order to make work easier. As the LCBO brings more samples from the sought-after 2010 vintage, here is an excellent and affordable opportunity.  A blend of Merlot 75%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20 %, Malbec 5%. WS gave it 89-91and for $16, what’s not to like. Seems like a great day-to-day Bordeaux food-friendly wine. Affordable and worth exploring.

Canada – Coffin Ridge Back from the Dead Red 2010 (260463)-$17

Coffin Ridge is one of the pioneer wineries from Grey County. Based on where this region is (north-west of Barrie), I’m amazed the vines survive the winter. Nevertheless, I never miss an opportunity to explore a Marechal Foch. John, perhaps this is our new Marechal that is “Back from the Dead” as suggested by its name. Can’t wait to try it.

Chile – Korta Barrel Selection Reserva Petit Verdot 2010 (296608)-$14.95

Located in the southern and eastern portion of the Curico Valley, where the Lontue River  flows down from the nearby Andes, Lontue is cooler than the western areas of the Curico Valley. Lontue’s wines benefit from the influence of several different soil types in the area, combining limestone and volcanic rock with alluvial clay and sand. Love this grape and always excited to try it from different countries/regions/terroirs.

Canada – Tawse Sketchers of Niagara Riesling 2010 (089029)-$17.95

John and all the other Riesling lovers, that’s another one for you to try for an affordable price.

For deeper pockets:

#1 Choice – France – Chateau de La Gardine Chateauneuf du Pape 2010 (298612)-$32.95

A $33.00 2010 CdP that got a beautiful review by RP (gave it 90-92) and indicated a long term cellaring window from 2016-2031, which makes the GPCi insanely attractive (1.7 !) – stock ‘em up. I’d buy 3-12 bottles and lay them nicely to sleep beside their 2010 CdP friends.

#2 Choice – Italy – Marchesi di Barolo Barolo 2006 (168179)-$34.95

This is a consistently 90+ Barolo produce. And the 2006 version got the highest ranking in the past 6 years – WS rewarded it with 93 indicating a long term cellaring window – 2015 until 2032. Yet another incredible 1.7 GPCi. If you like Barolos (which I do), this is a real steal. I’d recommend buying 3-12 bottles.

#3 Choice  – Italy – Michele Castellani Cinque Stelle Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2007 (075127)-$54.95

This producer seems to consistently produce 95+ Amarone wines. Not a simple task. Although expensive, this 2007 Amarone received 95 by WS and has a long cellaring window – 2015 until 2032. Its GPCi is very much within the “buy” range (2.7 from an ‘upper limit’ of 3.5).

#4 Choice – Spain – Tinto Pesquera Reserva 2008 (323345)-$39.95

Back to their 1997 vintage (which was a challenging vintage) and until these days, I’d never had less than a great wine from Pesquera. Even their Crianza are outstanding and can be cellared for 5-10 years, let alone their Reserva. This Pesquera Reserva received 92 by IWC and can probably be cellared for 10-12+ years.

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 United States and others.