Best Cellar Wines in LCBO Vintages Release September 29

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.


#1 choice – France – Midi – 2010 Les Vignes Bila-Haut Cotes Du Roussillion-Villages (168716) – $14.95

The Roussillon history is complex and compelling, and has at times been quite violent. Terraces on stony soil, with a rich geological background and a climate that man has adopted for his crops. The Roussillon was bound to attract Michel Chapoutier’s attention. He decided to locate his domain at Latour de France. Black and brown schist to give the wine a solar touch. Gneiss for minerality and freshness. Combination of Limestone and chalk for strength and balance. RP 92-94

#2 choice – Argentina – Mendoza – 2009 Finca Flichman Paisaje De Barrancas (17129) – $17.95

Finca Flichman is a well-recognized Argentinean wine producer. It was established back in 1873 by Sami Flichman, a Polish Jewish immigrant. In 1998 it was purchased by Sogrape – a leading wine-producing company from Portugal. Paisaje means landscape and is a collation which encompasses soil, vineyard and men in a particular wine. The wine was aged for 12 months in French and American barrels. Wine Enthusiast gave it 93.

#3 choice – Italy – Tuscany – 2009 Michele Satta Bolgheri Rosso (039834) – $19.95

Manual harvest. 30% cab, 30% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 10% Teroldego and 10% Syrah. This wine was aged for 12 months in barrels and then bottled unfiltered. They remained in the cellar for 6 additional months before they hit the stores. JS gave it 92 (!).  For such a review and affordable price you have a food friendly day-to-day excellent choice.

#4 choice – Spain – Rioja – 2005 Dinastia Vivanco Reserva (293431) – $24.95

This Reserva (90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano) is produced from the fruit of various vineyards located throughout Rioja Alta at altitudes of 500 meters above sea level. Planted using the bush and wire training methods in soils that are mostly marl. The average age of the vines is 35 years. RP gave it 91 and indicated a medium+ cellaring window until 2020.

For deeper pockets

#1 Choice – Italy – Tuscany – 2007 Le Pupille Poggio Valente Morellino Di Scansano Riserva (230680) – $29.95

A blend of 96% Sangiovese, 2% Alicante and 2% Syrah. It was aged for 3 months in steel and the next 16 months in barriques. WS gave this wine 90 and RP gave it 92 and suggested a consumption window of 2017 to 2022, which makes it one of the better GPCis of the release. I’d buy 2-4 bottles.

#2 choice – France – Rhone South – CdP – 2010 La Crau De Ma Mere Chateauneuf-du-Pape (941740) – $44.95

I said it before, and I will keep saying it… 2010 is a CdP collectors year – you cannot go wrong with it. RP gave this 2010 La Crau De Ma Mere a remarkable 92-94 and said it can lay down/consumed until 2026+. I’d buy 2-6 bottles.

#3 choice – Italy – Tuscany – 2008 Ruffino Modus (912956) – $28.95

I had previous vintages of this lovely Tuscan wine. It’s fairly priced for the quality. Although not as amazing as the 2007 Modus, this 2008, a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot got 92 by JS, 91 by WE. Only 12,500 cases made. This wine can last for 8-10+ years which makes its GPCi attractive for purchase.

#4 choice – Italy – Tuscany – 2005 Livio Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino (287284) – $39.95

The Sassetti family has been working the land for many generations, and wine making has now been an important part of their production for a century. Livio Sassetti inherited this tradition but was displeased with the quality of fruit from the family vineyards, so in the early 1970’s he followed his ambition to Montalcino. Here he purchased land in Montosoli and established the Pertimali estate, named for a cottage on the property. His sons Lorenzo and Luciano now join him in the production of an elegant, complex line of wines that resemble the great libations of Burgundy yet are distinctively Tuscan. Although 2005 isn’t as highly rated as 2006, this effort was rewarded with 93 (!) by RP with a drinking window of 2013 to 2023. It’s GPCi is on the threshold, but still sounds as a good buy if you like Brunellos.


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.



 Posted with permission of the LCBO.






Leave a Reply