A long-time favourite of mine, since its initial release in the 1998 vintage.
Vineyard established in 1975. Solid, high-quality natural cork closure. 12.5% alc./vol.
Intense, saturated black/cherry-red hue, with a ruby/magenta meniscus. Beautiful, nearly viscous appearance in the glass; the dark colour and light-purple legs make for great visuals. Expansive bramble-type fruit, framed by tightly-wound oak spice; secondary hints of its V. riparia parentage, via myriad brackish/wild/marshy/celeriac aromas. Plummy replays. Tart entry, with lively acidity, a firm but light structure, and good warmth on the finish. Flavours carry through onto the mid-palate. Cleansing, tasty, bright-on-the-palate, dark-coloured red wine.
If you must compare this to something from the vinifera world, think northern Italy: e.g. a laser-crisp Barbera, but with a much darker colour.
As usual, give it some time in the open bottle before drinking - or better yet, decant it: the bouquet will open up very nicely.
2009 was not a notable vintage in Ontario; it was actually quite a weak vintage. But I love trying red hybrid wines from such years, because I get to see what grapes that fit the climate can produce under less than favourable conditions. I'm already looking forward to trying the 2010 version of this classic Ontarian red.