2008 Stratus Cabernet Sauvignon


This exceptional Niagara Cabernet Sauvignon presents us with a nose of red berries, sweet tar, cedar, black licorice, flowers, and graphite. In the mouth, the wine possesses a pleasant astringency from fine dusty tannins that, partnered with a pronounced acidity, gives structure to the palate of red/black fruit and oak flavours present here. 19 months in 33% new French oak and a tiny splash of Merlot (2%) add even more layered complexity to this refined and polished example of cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Growing Conditions

March was cool and wet. This was immediately contrasted with a warmer than normal April and a cooler than average May. Summer finally arrived in June; however, it also included some severe weather producing high winds and hail. Minimal damage resulted and overall, the vines fared well. Summer months in the Niagara Peninsula saw typical temperatures but much high than normal precipitation. By mid-August, ripening looked to be 7-14 days delayed on average for the region. September brought improved conditions with warm temperatures and sunny dry weather. Harvest began in late October and stretched into mid December. The fall was generally dry, offering good harvest conditions.
The combinations of good fall weather and careful thinning of fruit to manage ripening resulted in most grapes reaching ripeness in the October/November window. After a summer marked by intermittent worry about delayed maturity, sugar levels in most grapes turned out to be in the normal range. Late harvest Semillon and grapes for Icewine were left on the vine until early 2009. Icewine season began with the first harvest taking place in early January. The 2008 vintage was notable in that the theoretical potential to begin Icewine harvest came while the regular season harvest was still underway.


Cabernet Sauvignon
VQA Niagara Lakeshore
J-L Groux
Bottle size
750 mL
Serving Temperature
18 °C
Drinking Window
2010 - 2017
Harvest Date
December 11-12, 2008
583 days in French oak - 33% new