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.

Spain – Montsant – Celler Besllum Besllum 2008 (283515) – $15.95

My #1 “must try” wine of this 8/18 release. RP gave it 93 and its GPCi is “crazy” (1.45!) – can be cellared until 2023. I was looking for the meaning of the word Besllum and found two interesting definitions:
1 – Besllum is a Catalan word with no literal translation meaning ‘imperfect, uncertain understanding of something’
2 – Besllum means “a ray of bright light coming through a small opening in a dark background.”

The vineyards are located in Cornudella del Montsant, the highest village in the appellation (North-east in Spain. West to Barcelona). I found an interesting approach by Joan Carles, the owner, who lets the grass grow in the vineyards to absorb the spring rains in order to further stress the vines.  Oh yes, buy a case!

France – Loire – Les Vignoles Terroirs Et Lieu-Dieu De Loire Saumur-Champigny 2009 (662585) – $15.95

With descriptions like “… mouthwatering acidity carrying the delicious blackberry, cassis and raspberry fruit” by WS who gave it 90 and for $16, this Cab Franc is definitely on my “must try” list for this release. John M – as we continue our quest for ‘the’ Cab Franc for under $20, let’s get together and try this one.

Italy – Tuscany – Verbena Brunello De Montalcino 2007 (165126) – $37.95

This 100 % Sangiovese wine was aged for three years in oak vats followed by one year in the bottle. There are only 30,000 bottles produced. Verbena seems to consistently produce highly rated Brunellos.  Their 2004 Brunello got 93 by WS and this wine got 94 by Wine Enthusiast. 2007 similar to 2006 was an excellent vintage and these wines can usually be cellared for 10-15 years, which makes them a good buy.

France – Rhone (South)
2010 in the southern part of the Rhone is similar in quality to the outstanding 2007 vintage. According to RP the wines from 2010 are slightly better for cellaring than the ones from 2007. So when it comes to the CdP (see a few wines down), this is the vintage for the wine collectors. Here are two more simple examples of yet excellent options for day-to-day.

France – Domaine Les Grands Bois Cuvee Philippine Cote Du Rhone Villages 2010 (286344) – $17.95

This wine received 91 by RP and is for short time cellaring (until 2015). Expect full body Rhone valley blend for an affordable price.

France – Domaine Roche Cairannie Cote-Du-Rhone Villages 2010 (283184) – $21.95

Slightly more expensive and also for consumption in the next 2-3 years. RP gave it a high score of 92. An excellent QPR (Quality to Price Ratio).

And now for the heavy guns from France (in order of preference):

France – Domaine De Saint Siffrein Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 (169771) – $39.95

This Domaine is growing 16 ha of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The different vines average 60 years of age, and are low-yielding in their production.  This 2010 CdP is a blend of 65 % Grenache, 15 % Syrah, 15 % Mourvèdre et 5 % Cinsault. As expected from this vintage, this wine can be cellared until 2026 or more and it received an outstanding 92-94 rating from RP. I have had CdP from St. Siffrein and loved it – it’s the real deal. Although not cheap, it has a great GPCi (~3), so if you have the budget buy 2-6 bottles.

France – Bosquet Des Papes Cuvee Tradition Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 (726687) – $42.95

Since 1860 the Boiron family has made wine at their property. The cellars were built in three steps in 1978, 1983 and 1994-95. The philosophy of “Bosquet des Papes” estate is to produce wines for the cellar so they can continue and evolve/mature, thereby respecting the traditions of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines. They usually will reach their peak after 6 or 7 years. This 2010 CdP from Bosquet Des Papes got 91-93 by RP and can lay down until 2026 or more. I have tried previous vintages from this domaine and believe it is a very good representation of the CdP region. If budget is an issue, I would, however, buy Domaine De Saint Siffrein and skip this one. If you can afford both, split the quantity and buy 2-3 from each.

France – Domaine Du Pere Pape Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 (277608) – $37.95

The Mayard family has been winemakers for 5 generations. They produce 65,000 bottles of this CdP. It’s made from 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Cinsault. This cuvée is aged in foudres (1/3) or in cement tanks for 12-18 months. From January 2007 Alain Narjoux assists Françoise in the cellars. He has for 13 years been in the cellars at Vieux Télégraphe (!). This is the cheapest amongst the three CdP in this release, yet with almost similar rating by RP (gave it 90-92) and almost similar cellaring potential (2023+).  All in all, out of the three CdP, the 2010 Domaine De Saint Siffrein CdP has the best GPCi and therefore has my strongest buying recommendation.

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.