Stratus 2007 Gamay
Regular readers know that I have a special place in my heart for Gamay, especially because I know Ontario can do this grape justice year after year. Unfortunately, it’s just no as sexy a grape as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, so not everybody tries their hand at it, but those who do reap great rewards. Now Stratus isn’t known for putting out many single varietal wines, but a recent discussion with winemaker J.L. Groux revealed that in good years, he’ll make the call as to whether or not a single grape will be bottled. 2007 was one of those calls of greatness, thus we see this straight Gamay from the blending house of Stratus. The nose of this wine is riddled with big smoked cherry smells (that’s because of the 639 days in oak – 43% of it new) and then there’s the smell of alcohol (not surprising since it’s a whopping 14%, pretty big for Gamay). The palate is loaded with cherry and alcohol heat, but if you decide to chill it the heat dissipates, leaving behind smoky, cherry and raspberry notes with a hint of licorice. Because I enjoy my Gamay slightly chilled, I’ve based my review on the hour in the fridge version, not the pre-opening, sitting on the counter version. With lower alcohol and a lower price we’d be looking at a 5-star wine here. Price: $29.00 – Rating: ****½
Gamay Noir
Niagara Peninsula
at the winery

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