Descendientes De J. Palacios Pétalos, Domaine De Cristia, Beronia Gran Reserva Among Best Cellar Wines in the LCBO Vintages Release January 21

By Gaby Israel

2009 Turkey Flat Butchers Block Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre – $19.95
For all of you out there that love a GSM blend. This one is by Turkey Flat – an excellent consistent wine producer. Obviously, for this price it’s their entry level wine. Nevertheless, got a very good review by JH (94) and RP (90) and seems to be a QPR wine.

2009 Descendientes De J. Palacios Petalos – $21.95
From Bierzo DO, part of the Castilla y León region in Spain (north-west. “above Portugal”). Great vintage in this area (RP rated the vintage as 91). The wine received 93 by WS with a “Smart Buy” advice. Stephen Tanzer gave it 91 and RP gave it 90 – very solid supportive review. In my past experience with the wines from this region I found them to be more modern in style, bright, juicy, spicy and with a lively personality. It is probably for short-medium term cellaring (2-5 years).

2009 Luca Laborde Double Select Syrah – $22.95
If you’re following my wine reviews, you know that I have had their Pinot Noir (see review here), which is not something to take for granted since I consider myself a “Pinot challenged”…  Now Syrah is one of my favorite grapes. So looking at RP review (rewarded this wine with 92) with the experience I had with this producer, this is #1 on my list to try. I would probably buy 3-6 bottles.

2009 Domaine De Cristia Chateauneuf-Du-Pape – $42.95
This is their “entry level” CdP. They also have a Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Cuvée Renaissance’ and  Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Vielles Vignes’ This wine is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah. The average age of the vines are 50 years. Matured in cement tanks for 18 months. Around 36.000 bottles. Similarly to the 2007 vintage in CdP, 2009 is a year for the cellar. Buy 1-3 bottles.

2004 Vina Herminia Reserva Tinto – $25.95
A blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10 Garnacha y 5% Graciano I said it a few times before, I’m a sucker for the 2004 Reservas from Rioja, Spain. I’m still waiting to try a bad wine from this vintage… I find this vintage to be enjoyable now (after decanting) or alternatively can be cellared for another 3-10 years (depending on the Bodegas), which make it a GPCi worthy. Try one today and decide if you want to enrich your cellar with this wine

2001 Beronia Gran Reserva – $32.95
WS=90 ; ST=90  A supportive review by WS and ST – each rewarded the wine with 90. I read my friend Dan Trcka’s review on this wine and since I very much respect his point of view, my only advice, if you decide to buy the wine, is to decant it for 2-3 hours before exploring its full potential. I found some older Gran Reservas to open up and even add some weight if you give them some time. Still, do not expect power – many of the old Gran Reservas are about the complexity, nuances and elegance..


Wines to consider for day-to-day (“House wine”)

2009 Concha Y Toro Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon – $14.95
Never had a bad wine from this producer. I also found in past couple of years that their entry level wines have improved. Enjoy this wine with a nice beefy dish.

2008 Spadina Una Viola Signature Syrah – $16.95
Their 2006 vintage got 93 by 2008 was a very good year throughout Italy, so the risk is relatively low for $17. I found many of the wines from Sicily to have a great QPR. Another BBQ-friendly wine. Also try it with stew.

2006 Bodegas Castano Reserva Pozuelo – $14.95
A blend of 70% Monastrell,10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 10% Merlot. 20 months in oak barrels. From the Yecla small region (south-east near Murcia). Expect lots of ripe fruit from this blend.

2008 Ignacio Marin Old Vine Garnacha – $15.95


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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