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Stratus Red, 2019

Shipped and sold by Stratus Vineyards

2019 Niagara Peninsula 750 mL, 13.3% ALC/VOL
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Petit Verdot
  • Syrah
  • Tannat
Critic's Rating 94 pts

This superbly elegant wine boasts potent aromas and flavours of pomegranate, dried tobacco leaf and hibiscus. With a fine structure of savoury overtones, a fruit-filled palate of black prune and cassis are accompanied by subtle notes of earthy undertones that unfold into a well-balanced and expressive finish of cocoa powder that coats the palate.

Growing Conditions: Budbreak in most areas had a slight delay, however the sunny autumn drew out the end of the season. January started off mild but was a month full of significant weather events including extreme cold and heavy snowfall, which continued throughout February, while the rapid thaw in March was the major weather story of the spring. Significant snow melt led to high water levels for the start of the growing season. June brought summer weather with normal temperatures across Ontario and the growing season got under way. Flowering occurred quickly as the grapevines accelerated to make up for the late start. July was warm and sunny, punctuated by three short but intense heat waves, complemented by high humidity across south-eastern and southwestern Ontario. Two significant rainfalls occurred in the month, maintaining soil moisture and supporting developing vines. August was warm and intermittently stormy, leading into a comparatively quiet September, cool with some rain – but bringing decent conditions to finish off the summer and begin the harvest season.

VQA Niagara Lakeshore

Critic's Rating

Big volume on the nose here from Stratus's flagship red blend, 31% cabernet franc, 21% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 19% petit verdot, 4% tannat, 3% syrah and 2% malbec. I love the texture on the palate, the silky-firm tannins, the sharp-tart acids, the long, lingering finish. Complexity is high, and density/weight/concentration are impressive, as is balance. Terrific length, too. A superb vintage, best 2024-2030. Tasted December 2022.
- John Szabo, MS, WineAlign
  • National Wine Awards of Canada 2022, Silver Medal National Wine Awards of Canada 2022, Silver Medal
  • Connoisseur Note(s):

    For as long as I have been publishing this website, the top assemblage red wine has been smartly priced between $44-$49. That represents great value for a red that always performs in the top echelons of Ontario’s greatest red wines. The 2019 Stratus Red consists of (are you ready?): Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Tannat, Syrah and Malbec. The proportions are meticulously derived at with intense barrel tasting and blending trials held over months and months with the Stratus team until they feel this wine represents the best of the best achieved at Stratus in each vintage. The final blend spends 671 days in oak (6% new barrels). There is a beautiful floral/perfumed note on the nose of this master blend with brambly black raspberries, earthy/savoury notes, black currants, wild herbs, damson plums, tobacco leaf, black cherries, and fine oak spice accents. It’s plush and smooth on the palate with medium+ fine tannins, a chorus of cassis, black currants, and ripe red berries, with lovely earthiness and dried tobacco followed by integrated spice and a long, finessed finish. Can cellar 10+ years. 92 points — Rick VanSickle, Wines in Niagara

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    The 2019 vintage was a featured wine in February 2024's Wine Club package.

    Tasting notes written by Tony Aspler.

    Geographical Indication: VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
    Varietals: Cabernet Franc (31%), Merlot (21%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Petit Verdot (19%), Tannat (4%), Syrah (3%), Malbec (2%)
    Vineyard: Estate vineyard
    Residual Sugar: 3 g/L
    Cases Produced: 1,419

    Appearance: Deep purple in colour.
    Nose: Cedary, slightly smoky nose of black fruits.
    Palate: Full-bodied, dry, richly extracted flavours of plum, blackberry, and blackcurrant. Beautifully balanced and harmonious, with ripe tannins.
    Quality: 93 – 95 points – Wine Club Canada. Outstanding. Can be consumed with pleasure now but will reward cellaring for 2 –3 years.

    Food Pairing: Fried wild mushrooms with parmesan, veggie burgers with aged cheddar, pork tenderloin with blackberry merlot sauce, spicy sausage and caramelized onion pizza, and smoked pork roast.

    • National Wine Awards of Canada 2022, Silver Medal