2012 Stratus Red


The much-praised 2012 vintage was a gift to our assemblage wines as the growing season's favourable conditions ensured that all of our varietals reached optimal ripeness. The 2012 Stratus Red blend is a deeply complex wine that has an intense cassis core, with dark and dusty plums and a hint of cocoa powder. There is a defined and integrated oak character that complements the vintage's rich fruit profile. The palate exhibits fine, silky, chocolatey tannins that bode well for a long and elegant evolution.

"Off the top, no red wine at Stratus can top this in any vintage, it is the culmination of all the hard work that has gone into the top-down program at the slick and stylish Niagara-on-the-Lake winery. The nose, even in its youth, shows dense and highly aromatic black currants, blackberries, plums, cassis and then oak spices, clove-cinnamon notes and charred vanilla toast. It is so lush, so persistent on the palate, yet it is defined by the richness and purity of the dark layered fruit that is bolstered by lavish spice, grippy tannins and a finessed feel through a long, velvety finish. It is big, no doubt about it, at this stage, but has the power, complexity and grace to reward with 10-20 years in the cellar. A beautiful wine. Score - 94." (Rick VanSickle, winesinniagara.com, Feb. 6, 2015)

"Stratus’s 2012 Red is a virile, structured blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, malbec and tannat. The superior 2012 growing season no doubt helped give the wine a succulent, almost syrupy, dense core of blackberry-like fruit and cassis with a delectable hint of prune. And there are hints of cocoa and underbrush for good measure. Velvety in the middle, it shows sturdy, grainy tannins and is lifted on the finish by a saline-like tang. Score 92 point" (Beppi Crosariol, The Globe & Mail)

Growing Conditions

The winter of 2012 was warmer and drier than in previous years with vine development starting very early in the season. An extremely warm March was followed by significantly cooler temperatures and frost in April. While devastating for many of our neighbouring tender fruit growers, our vineyard buds had not yet "woken" to spring when the frosts hit and the crop thankfully did not suffer. Bud break did occur about 16 days earlier than usual which extended the length of the growing season. Summer temperatures continued to be above average with July being much drier than normal. Overall, the hot, dry climate resulted in the best growing season for Stratus to date and provided flawless fruit for an impressive lineup of wines.


Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Franc
Petit Verdot
VQA Niagara Lakeshore
J-L Groux
Bottle size
750 mL
Serving Temperature
18 °C
Drinking Window
2016 - 2027
Harvest Date
October 15 - November 18, 2012
622 days in French oak │ 35% new