2016 Stratus Weather Report Chardonnay


At Stratus, our vineyard's voice is defined as much by the soils underfoot, as the shifting weather patterns above. Our Weather Report series is ever-changing - each wine, an individual snapshot of a growing season.

With the minimal amount of intervention 2016 gave ripe, full, and fruit forward Chardonnay. While there are hints of spice and vanilla from it's short barrel time the main act here is the ripe and rounded big fruit character of the wine. Expect notes of ripe yellow apples, tropical melon, sweet pineapple, and just subtle hints of flint and camomile tea all playing out to the long and well rounded finish.

"Although this stands in as the “second label” of Stratus, it’s made in exactly the same way as the top Chardonnay is, spending nine months in French oak with only 17% of it new. Even in the warm vintage of 2016 in Niagara it shows the direction winemaker J.L. Groux is taking with this varietal: a more finessed approach to the finished wine to better express the minerality of the vineyard. The nose shows lovely crisp apple, citrus, pear, light toast and spice with underlying minerality. It’s fresh, finessed and lively on the palate with integrated orchard fruit, spice and flinty minerality on the finish. Cool climate Chard in a warm vintage? Mission accomplished." - 91 points Rick VanSickle, winesinniagara.com

"Barely-there aromas of cool steel lead to a racy beam of flavour that quickly evolves in the mouth to reveal a calm, delicate creaminess. Subtle notes of apricot, white flowers and buttered toast emerge before giving way to olive brine, Brazil nut and oyster shell notes. Quite an understated and stylish-tasting Chardonnay with intriguing complexity, plunging acidity, a long, languid finish of sea salt and wet stones.
Outstanding value for money. Score: 92+" - Carolyn Evans Hammond, Waterloo Region Record, 8 August 2018

Growing Conditions

The 2016 vintage will be long remembered for its ideal conditions. Winter was mild and dry with a late April snowfall delaying bud break ever so slightly. A warm and dry spring, especially during flowering, led to even cluster development. Dry conditions continued in May through the middle of August making it one of the driest summers on record. The warm days stimulated an early veraison that led to wonderful potential ripening for all varietals. Occasional but heavy late August rains were quickly absorbed without any negative impact. Everything was harvested relatively early by Stratus standards with the first Chardonnay for sparkling being picked in late August and the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon in mid-November. Outstanding quality and anticipated yields were achieved this vintage.


VQA Niagara Lakeshore
J-L Groux
Bottle size
750 mL
Drinking Window
2018 - 2021
Harvest Date
October 10, 2016
271 days in French oak │ 25% new