Laura Hartwig Carmenere, Caprili Brunello di Montalcino: Best Cellar Wines LCBO January 19

cellar barrelsBy Gaby Israel

This is the release for the Spanish wine lovers (like me). Spain has been one of my favorite wine regions for many years now. They consistently produce great wines for the right price. You can enjoy 8-12 years old wines for $20 to $30, and their quality is absolutely stunning.

Here are my top picks from this release:

Choice #1 – Spain –2010 Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja (273748) – $19.95

Last time I was in Spain in 2007, I visited this region – Campo de Borja is a county in Aragon, Spain. It is located in the province of Zaragoza, in a transition area between the Iberian System and the Ebro Valley. I had this wine from earlier vintages and it’s a great example of a more modern style Spanish Garnacha. Outstanding value! Expect a full body-‘complete’ wine. I’d buy 2-12 bottles.

Choice #2 from Rioja: – Spain – 2004 Bordón Gran Reserva, Rioja (114454) – $22.95 and
Spain – 2004 Don JacoboReserva, Rioja (313270) – $17.95

Old “school Rioja” – I have these two traditionally made Rioja from previous vintages. Great opportunity to drink them side by side and see what is the difference between Reserva and Gran Reserva from the same classic 2004 vintage. Expect complexity and finesse. Should be very enjoyable. I’d recommend buying 2-4 bottles from each and enjoy them in the next 5-10 years.

Choice # 3 – Spain – 2005 Legón Reserva, Ribera del Duero (303511) – $23.95

Although not as classic as the 2004, the 2005 is still considered by many as outstanding. Great review. Robert Parker rewarded this wine with 90+, and you can enjoy this wine between 2014 to 2025. Since it spent 18 months in French oak, expect the impact both on the nose and palate. Can’t wait to try it.

Choice #4 – Spain – 2008 Planets de Prior Pons, Priorat (314559) – $22.95

What got my attention besides the great reviews is the fact that it’s reasonably priced for a very good wine from Priorat. Most wines from this region are usually around the $40+ mark when they are at that quality. Parker rewarded this wine with 91 indicating a medium+ term cellaring 2014-2020.

Choice #5 – Chile – 2010 Laura Hartwig Reserva Carmenere (213512) – $15.95

Whoever follows my wine recommendations for the last few years knows that I was introduced to this wine because of its label. The woman on the label resembles my late grandmother (who was born in Brazil and lived in Uruguay) – the same look, feel of glamour yet humble and pure beauty (see picture. Right picture is wine label. Isn’t it interesting?). So after I got over this amazing fact, I tried the wine. For the price, this is an excellent wine. Expect full spectrum of dark fruit flavors. If you are a Merlot fan, try this Carmenere – it may be your “upgraded” Merlot wine from now on.

For deeper pockets:

Australia – 2010 DomaineTournon Shay’s Flat Vinyard Shiraz, Pyrenees, Victoria (311480) – $29.95 By M. Chapoutier

The wines I have tried from M. Chapoutier that were done in a joint effort in Australia are absolutely worth the money. These wines usually age gracefully and according to different vintages reports, the 2010 vintage in that region is both great and meant for aging. I therefore suggest to buy 2-12 bottles and enjoy it over the next 10-12 years.

Italy – 2007 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino (305888) – $44.95

Another good one for the cellar. Both 2007 and 2006 vintages seem to produce excellent Brunellos to the cellar. About the winery (reference):  The Caprili estate is located to the South-West of Montalcino at an altitude of 335 metres above sea level, and was bought in 1965 by the Caprili family. Today, the Caprili family controls all the stages of the winemaking process, from wine production to commercialization. In 1965, the first grapevines were planted by Alfo Bartolommei and in 1978, Caprili made the estate’s first wine, the Rosso di Montalcino. Afterwards, Caprilli began growing crops to make his first Brunello di Montalcino wines. About the wine process (reference): interesting fact about the length of aging process. Aging : 4 years in Slavonia oak barrels followed by 6 months minimum in the bottle.

July new pic of  Gaby

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.



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