Canada — Ontario • $44.20 • 91/100

There is no debating the excellence here in Stratus’ premium blend from the warm 2012 vintage. In the glass you’ll find a rich, ripe and tannic wine made from traditional Bordeaux varieties (including smaller amounts of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Tannat, in addition to the usual suspects). It is deep purple-red in hue, now showing mostly red on a very narrow rim. Core aromas of ripe to over-ripe plums, blackberries and black currants are met with a slight lift of volatility, backed by contrasting notes of sous bois and damp earth. Grippy, chewy tannins still dominate the palate, with elevated alcohol that imparts some heat, and firm acidity that contrasts with the fully ripe fruit that has just a hint of dried-fruit character. Rich, lush, dense and tannic, and very appealing to those who like high levels of ripeness and powerful structure. But the wine is also atypical for cool-climate Niagara, even in a warm vintage, although very much the house style. It’s not just because of high levels of extraction during fermentation, and the significant use of oak, but also (even in this warm vintage) some apparent drying of fruit on the vine, that further heightens the concentration and impacts the character of the fruit. • Tasted 2017-04-01 • LCBO id#131037 • Find it at your nearest LCBOSTRATUS VINEYARDS (Agent)

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