Ontario Reviews

Hillebrand 2005 Trius Red
This is the very first solo effort of the Hillebrand flagship Trius Red that winemaker Darryl Brooker has shepherded from start to finish – and another fine addition to the Trius catalogue of great wines. Trius is traditionally the name given to Hillebrand’s Bordeaux-blend reserve wines made famous by former winemaker J.L. Groux; under Darryl’s care it’s no different. 14 months in primarily French oak barrels (55% of it new); this 47% Sauv, 43% Franc and 10% Merlot is a wonderful wine from the hot, but short-cropped 2005 vintage – and Brooker has put his heart and soul, (and almost all of 2005’s best barrels) into the blend. This will be the only Trius this year because of the shortfall (there will be no Trius Grand Red and only a limited release of Trius Franc around mid-summer). In the mouth, you’ll find the wine to be smooth and lush, even at this young point in its life, the wood has really integrated well with the fruit and fine tannins. The nose shows the promise of this wine with white pepper and other spices, along with cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, plum and a great big bushel of red fruit. Already three months in bottle, the wine is still a little tight on the palate and requires some decanting or an early opening before serving. Currently, it shows signs of red fruit, oak and sweet spices with a rather lengthy finish. Over time this wine will open up on its own, and will deliver the goods right from the bottle. A good food wine that would pair well with summer’s end, or early fall, BBQs. As for longevity, Darryl is conservative in his estimates, “I’m comfortable saying between 5-7 years,” he told me … push him and he’ll concede to maybe 10 … and I’m comfortable with that.
Red Blend
Niagara Peninsula
at the winery and the LCBO
(Re-Tasted August 2011) ... It's like a re-taste of a re-taste; it seems that every two years I pull out a bottle of this and re-taste the wine, and now it's my third go round with the 2005 Trius Red. '05 was a good year in Ontario and the reds loved the weather. According to the most recent LCBO vintage chart they rate Niagara wines from 2005 a 9A (meaning a nine out of ten and "A" for can be aged longer) ... I would agree. This red blend is drinking well now but could stand another 5 years or more without too much degradation. The nose is black currant, black raspberry, vanilla and cinnamon spice. The palate doles out oak from the get go before the wood relinquishes its hold and lets the spice and the the black fruit emerge, so some patience when drinking now is a must. If you have some in the cellar, like I do, drink one now just to get a frame of reference and we'll talk about this one again in a couple of years. Cheers.

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