lawn dieoff mystery

According to authoritative websites I've seen, the best grass seed for places with severe winters like here in Ontario is a mix of bluegrass and fescue. Last summer I needed to patch a couple of areas in my lawn so I bought a mix at a local garden centre (which generally sells good products) labelled "Canada no. 1 lawn seed", boasting 40% Kentucky bluegrass, 30% creeping red fescue, and 30% perennial ryegrass.
It came up fine. I had some left over so I used the remainder in April to seed a couple of areas that were damaged by landscaping late last fall. These new areas are also germinating fine.
But the areas I seeded last summer are almost completely dead. It's been warm enough the past week that if they have any life they should be sprouting by now (the established lawn all around them is almost ready to cut). If this grass isn't going to last over winter, I'm not sure if I should even continue watering the newly-seeded areas, or dig them under and start again. And if a bluegrass/fescue mix can't survive, what can I use for new seed?
The ironic thing is that for most of the past 22 years I've lived here I've used cheaper brand-name seed bought at the local hardware store and have never had this kind of winter damage.
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Wild guess: the ryegrass established, the other two species didn't. I'd overseed with just bluegrass and red fescue, and keep watering.
Kay
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