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Black Lion Cuvée, 2020

Shipped and sold by Ferox by Fabian Reis

2020 Niagara Peninsula 750 mL, 13.5% ALC/VOL
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Malbec
  • Merlot


An homage to the great Merlot-dominant blends of Old World Europe, this 2020 iteration of Black Lion Cuvée showcases power, with an overarching elegance and incredible structural integrity. Primary aromatics are rooted in blackberry, black currant, black cherry, liquorice, and mint, with a subtle note of confected plum that appears once aerated. An evident note of baking spice, dark chocolate and Huehuetenango Guatemalan coffee (caramel and toffe notes) comes through, courtesy of extended barrel aging, as well as 100% completed malo-lactic conversion and time on lees. Primary palate notes mirror the nose, with a focus on blackberry, fig and black cherry. A hint of white pepper, toast and vanilla is showcased on the back palate; a juxtaposition to the red and black fruit on palate.  The finish is long, with a combination of tannin and acid that structurally balances the intensity of flavours.

Each variety was hand-harvested between October 1st and October 16th, 2020 at an average brix of 23, and was picked early in the morning, with cluster and berry sorting, before being cold soaked for 12 hours at 1ºC. The juice was inoculated with a chosen strain of yeast, and fermented on skins for 3 weeks, fluctuating between 25-28ºC. Pumpovers occurred twice per day, before free-run juice was separated, and the remaining skins pressed at no greater than 1.5 bar of pressure. Once settled in tank, each variety was barreled down into specifically chosen neutral French oak barriques to age individually for 12 months. At the end of the initial aging, an assemblage occurred with 13 carefully selected barrels, before the final cuvée was barreled down into the same barriques, for an additional aging period of 22 months. The wine was then racked, stabilized in tank, and bottled unfiltered for the first time in Black Lion history.


With a wine this intense, look to foods that are dominated by salt and acid, as they will make the wine appear to be more fruity, sweet, and richer in taste. Options like roasted Grouse with blackcurrant and a beetroot sauce will highlight both the wine, but also add new aromas and flavours to the sensory experience. Alternatively, a venison and wild mushroom Wellington will provide salt, and umami notes, making the wine appear more tannic and acidic, but also providing starch to balance the power of the pairing. Vegetarians or vegans can look to dishes such as fried Tofu with a spicy ginger-sesame sauce or Miso-roasted eggplants with tomatoes, dill, Shiso and black vinegar to accentuate the phenolics of the wine, while providing sensory support to acid and tannin.


Blend: 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Malbec

Style: Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are 100% Free-Run, with Merlot being 50% Press and 50% Free-Run

Residual Sugar: 3.0 g/L


Aim to serve this at room temperature (15-18°C; 59-64°F)

Cellaring Capacity: 10-20+ years, at room temperature (15-18°C)

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