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J.L. Groux / Dean Stoyka
2 years in barrel, 12% new
2020 was a remarkable year for weather and wine in Ontario. Warmer than average winter months led to a cool dry April and May. The approach of summer brought a return of the hot weather with low precipitation and humidity. Similar conditions continued through August with only short, isolated, but intense thunderstorms. While temperatures began to naturally cool, sunshine remained throughout the autumn. The dry, sunny conditions were ideal for the full and complete maturation of grapes and contributed to a smooth harvest. Across the region, unseasonably warm weather delayed the icewine harvest resulting in a loss of tonnage. These temperature conditions postponed picking into the last week of January. While the overall grape crop was low, quality across all varieties was exceptional
"From the new Stratus premium 'White Label' series, this is from the 'merlot 3' block at the lowest part of the estate, with fairly heavy clay, with more humidity, perfect in a dry, warm vintage like 2020, though in
future editions may come from different parcels - the series is based on the best parcel of each vintage, rather than a consistent single parcel selection. This was picked earlier than the mean for Stratus, October 1st when November would be more common, aged 2 years in barrel, 12% new. The colour is deep purple, heavily extracted (30 days maceration but without aggressive pump overs), delivering a ripe, plummy, black fruit-infused nose, very ripe but still fresh, verging into acetone but that adds some lift to the plump fruit; oak is well balanced, nicely integrated into the ensemble. Tannins are broad, round and velvety, and length is excellent. It's a surprisingly approachable premium wine at this young age, full-bodied and widely appealing, though with potential to age a decade or more no doubt." 95 points John Szabo, MS,WineAlign