Seasonal Cellar Wines – Best Picks from LCBO Vintages Release November 26

Yes, it’s this time of year in which all the good AND expensive stuff is offered at the LCBO – very seasonal. Here are a few exceptionally good “investments” to the cellar (in a decline price order) :

2009 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape – $89.95

If Chateauneuf-du-Pape  had a similar classification as Bordeaux, no doubt that Beaucastel would be rewarded as “first growth”. However (and this is the good part), for this quality in Bordeaux, you would have paid 10-12 times more. Beaucastel has been consistently top quality wine with a “GPCi worthy” qualification. You can cellar these wines for 20-30 years and enjoy the their evolving complexity as they age. Since 2009 was an excellent vintage (almost as the 2007) and the wine critics are very supportive of what it’s delivering, I say you buy 1-6 bottles for the cellar.

1985 Dow’s Vintage port – $91.95

In the past decade I was lucky enough to try 3 different 1985 vintage port wines. so far and the experience was always rewarding and therefore this port got my attention. If you want to experience a top quality 26 year old Vintage Port from one of the best port producers, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Expect all the dry fruits a port can offer with a full flavoured smooth experience. Expensive and yet worth it for a special occasion.

2007 Miguel Torres Mas La Plana Cab Sauv – $46.95

I’ve had the opportunity to try previous versions of Mas La Plana (1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003). The first time caught me by surprise because I didn’t expect that modern Cab Sauv style to come from Spain – what a pleasant surprise. These wines are medium to full-body (depends on the vintage), complex, very enjoyable and very “local” – try to compare it with Cab Sauv from Australia and/or California and you’ll understand what I mean. The Mas La Plana by Torres age gracefully for 7-12 years.

2007 Pesquera Tinto Reserva – $41.95

It’s is one of my favourite Ribera Del Duero reds. Never had less than a great Pesquera Reserva. Started to enjoy this wine from its 1997 vintage, which was average, (got the lowest grade in the past 15 years) and still was one of the best ones I’ve tried from this vintage in Spain. This is Tempranillo (aka Tinto) at its best. Expect full body-old-world wine, multi layered. A wine that can effortlessly be cellared for 10-20 years.

2001 Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva – $29.95

Another Spanish favourite. This time from Rioja. I believe I have tried more vintages from this Spanish wine than any other (from the older 1972, 1978, 1981, 1982 to more recent vintages like 1991, 1995, 1998) – the best GPCi money can buy. As you can see, this wine can age 25+ years without blinking. If you like the old-world traditional Rioja and you haven’t tried Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva, you HAVE to try it. Do not look for power. It’s all about sophistication. Search for earthy aromas, mushrooms, old cheddar, leather and red currant. Perfect match for lamb. Buy 3-12 bottles.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava – $29.95

Besides having one of the most beautiful bottles (pewter bottom and label), this Cava is absolutely a great bubbly. And at this price, it will bravely compete with other $50-$70+ bubblies of the “real thing”. This Segura Cava is a safe bet. An interesting and tasty choice for Dec 31st celebrations.

2009 Chateau Faizeau Vieilles Vignes – $27.00

Excellent vintage. Great review by Parker. Expect a very good example of Montagne Saint Emilion – full body, probably Merlot based and can be cellared until 2020-2025. Great GPCi for the cellar.

For short to medium term cellaring:

2009 Benmarco Malbec – $16.95

If you have tried Benmarco Malbec before, you know that this is one of the better $17 Malbec out there (btw – their high-end Expresivo is excellent). Great as a day-to-day wine with BBQ ribs or any juicy steak. I’d buy 2-12 and enjoy it during the winter.

2010 Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir – $19.95

The quest for a reasonably priced Pinot continues. So the last Pinot I’ve tried that exceeded my expectations was the Luca Pinot Noir from Argentina (John M says that perhaps my expectations need recalibration J ). Errazuriz produces wines up to $20 to my liking. So I will try this one and let you know.

2009 Le Ferme du mont le Ponnant Cotes du Rhone-Villages – $17.95

Again, great vintage. Excellent reviews by Natalie and Parker. Can be cellared for 3-5 years. Attractive price. If you like the Rhone style of full, peppery spicy wines, no need to over analyze it. Stock ‘em up.

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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