Here’s what’s inside the September Toronto Life Wine Club box
In September’s delivery: A curated selection of bold unfiltered gamay, savoury cabernet franc and oaked sauvignon blanc from Stratus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Orders must be placed by Sept. 22.
2019 Sauvignon Blanc
Why we’re into this wine: It’s a classic fruit-forward sauvignon blanc—one of the best expressions out of Niagara this year—with extra heft from significant time spent in oak. Fermented first in stainless steel to retain the lively flavours and fruit freshness, the wine was then aged in French oak for over 10 months to round out the palate and mouthfeel. The acid is racy but refreshing and well integrated, a nod to the wine’s excellent structure.
What it tastes like: A bouquet of white flowers and green grass leads into a palate of lemon and grapefruit citrus, cantaloupe, papaya and green herbs. Tart at first sip, the wine mellows gracefully in the mouth and finishes with a light mineral note.
How to drink it: Pair this easy sipper with smoked oysters, pesto pizza with goat cheese and grilled zucchini planks with chive cream cheese sauce.
2019 Gamay Unfiltered
Why we’re into this wine: Burgundian-style gamay has been on trend in Ontario with its lean, austere flavour profile, but this expression is ripe, luscious and in-your-face, daring you to double-check the varietal— is that actually gamay? Where many wineries zig, Stratus zags. The benefit of almost nine months of aging in French oak, and bottling sans filtering, is flavour that’s fresh, but also deep and fulsome.
What it tastes like: Sweet Asian plum, blackberry and black currant, tobacco and ash with earthy undertones. The wine has a soft, rolling mouthfeel, excellent balance and a lovely finish with a pop of tart cherry.
How to drink it: With a variety of starters—from soft cheeses, smoked salmon canapés with capers, and steak tartare to fried onion rings, beet salad and roasted potatoes with herbs.
2019 Cabernet Franc
Why we’re into this wine: It’s a mellow expression of a varietal that typically has a bold flavour profile. This is accomplished, in part, as a result of its crafting by a LEED-certified gravity flow winery; Stratus is one of the few pump-free wineries in the world that moves wine from one stage to the next solely via the gentle method of tanks and barrels. Aging in French oak (12 per cent of it new) for almost 22 months elevates the flavours and complexity while also adding a sophistication and roundness to the mouthfeel.
What it tastes like: Jammy notes of black fruit and cassis, clove, menthol, tobacco, black licorice and hints of leather and baking spice present on the nose and palate. Tannins are present, but not overwhelming. Dry and full-bodied, the wine is well-structured with an undulating finish.
How to drink it: Match this gorgeous red with herbed-up foods like chicken liver paté with marjoram, aleppo-pepper-and-mint chicken skewers, and smashed sunchokes with thyme butter.