A Niagara red Bordeaux blend that rivals, if not surpasses, many of its French counterparts…
This bold, juicy red blend from Stratus Winery in Niagara offers plenty of complexity and balance in an Old-World style. Dark jammy fruit, black pepper, leather, and savoury spice dominate the nose, although we enjoyed the semi-sweet chocolate notes and wet forest floor undertones. In the mouth, we had more jammy dark fruit, wet leather, wet forest floor, cigar box, and savoury spice.
The Bordeaux-style blend, a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, as expected, included another trio, a mix of Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Tannat, to the tune of 19%, combined. The bottle presentation came across as distinctive and classy, offering a white, black, and silver palate.
This wine paired beautifully with filet mignon and three-pepper sauce, grilled vegetables, and garlic mashed potatoes. We initially intended to choose a Bordeaux blend from the wine list at the Vieux Port Steakhouse, but were swayed towards the Stratus by the sommelier, Julien, who raved about the merits of the latter. And we’re glad we did. At $82 CAD in a restaurant, this wine represented good value, but at $48.20 CAD in the LCBO, it represents excellent value for the money.
Rating (from 70 to 100): 92/100
The Bottle Details…
Name: Stratus Red
Producer: Stratus Winery
Region/Country: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Grape Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon (29%), Cabernet Franc (26%), Merlot (26%), Petit Verdot (13%), Malbec (3%), and Tannat (3%)
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Consumed: At the Vieux-Port Steakhouse in Montreal, Quebec
Recommended By: Julien Monnier, Maître D’
Cost: $82 CAD in the Vieux-Port Steakhouse ($48.20 at the LCBO, though at the time of writing, only one bottle remained in the whole province – demonstrating its popularity)
Bottle Presentation: A clean, classy, distinctive label in a black, white, and silver colour palate
The Tasting Details…
Appearance: Dark ruby
Nose: Medium-to-pronounced nose, with dark jammy fruit (blackberries, black plums, black cherries), wet leather, black pepper, savoury spice, semi-sweet chocolate, and fennel.
Taste: An extra-dry, medium-bodied red blend, with high, drying, and grippy tannins and a high level of acidity. More dark, jammy fruit, beaten leather, black pepper, and savoury spice dominate the mouth, but we had notes of wet forest floor as the wine opened.
Finish: A long, enjoyable finish of wet forest floor, leather, and dark fruit.