2017 Stratus Chardonnay


"Slightly cloudy appearance, but you were forewarned by the "unfiltered, bottled with lees" declaration on the label. And indeed, it looks like beer bottled with lees (the recipient of the last pour will get a mouthful of sediment). But the point is, not filtering preserves a wine's integrity and full flavour potential, while including the lees, an oxygen scavenger, means greater flavour development through yeast autolysis (positive breakdown), and reduced need for preservative sulphites. So, you'll just have to get over the floaty bits and cloudy look. The nose is ripe, rich and complex, offering panoply of white and yellow fruit alongside gently flinty, struck match reduction (a good thing), while the palate is genuinely concentrated and fleshy, lifted by a distinct succulence and sapidity. This is really good wine, concentrated, full and firm, a significant mouthful, with excellent length. It's not the kind of chardonnay you knock back without thought; it demands some attention and concentration. Serious wine for a serious occasion. Tasted June 2019. 93 Points" - John Szabo MS, WineAlign.com

Growing Conditions

2017 began with above average winter temperatures and low snow precipitation. Spring was timely with bud-break occurring the week of May 8. Cooler, damp temperatures began soon after however and remained through the height of the growing season. Fortunately, an even flowering mid-June was not hindered by these conditions. Extra attention to cluster thinning and leaf plucking was taken to ensure high quality fruit. Fortuitously, summer weather seemed to start in September and carried through the warmest October in a decade. The total number of growing degree days soared during these two months allowing for delayed, but optimal ripeness. Perfect harvest conditions held through November. After the long and dry autumn, a sudden cold snap in mid-December allowed for an early pick of Icewine.


VQA Niagara Lakeshore
J-L Groux
Bottle size
750 mL
Serving Temperature
16 °C
Drinking Window
2019 - 2027
334 days in French oak │ no new oak