Jamie Drummond and Malcolm Jolley are impressed by Status’ new Karim Rashid designed ‘Decant’ bottle on the release of their 2014 Cabernet Franc.

Stratus new ‘Decant’ bottle isn’t really broken, but it looks like it. Stratus Winery founder David Feldberg revealed it in the company of its renown designer, Karim Rashid, this week at a press unveiling in Toronto. GFR was there (in other words Jamie and I) along with a mixed group of wine and design media. It’s a striking design: Rashid explained that his aim was to deconstruct the wine bottle and chop it up. Feldberg chose the prototype design from a number that Rashid presented to him, and the designer claims the vigneron chose the one that was “the most radical” and crediting Feldberg for urging him to do something truly different.

David Feldberg, Karim Rashid and J-L Groux unveil the Decant bottle for the 2014 Stratus Cabernet Franc.

The new wine bottle is the result of a three year project, Rashid explained. Once they’d settled on a preliminary design, the main challenge came to be how to make it, and Stratus had to scour the globe for a glass manufacturer that could produce the design before finally finding one in Spain. The second challenge was, of course, what to put in it. A special bottle required a special wine, and Stratus’ winemaker J-L Groux happened to have a few barrels set aside in the cellar containing something special. The Stratus 2014 Cabernet Franc was vinified with natural yeasts and left on its lees for much longer than previous vintages, Groux explained. The result is a richer mouthfeel and plush wine that blends cool climate brightness with deep black fruit flavours.

Rashid explained that one of the concepts he values when he designs is grability, saying that the new Stratus bottle is “great to grab by the segment”. He demonstrated how one of the middle segments acts as a kind of natural handle. Groux added the segmented design provided an additional benefit because it also decanted the wine, trapping sediment in its segment, and giving the bottle its name, ‘Decant’.

For now the 2014 Cabernet France in the Decant bottle is available at the Stratus Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake or from their website here.