2017 Stratus Cabernet Franc 'Decant'


The story
Select barrels of Cabernet Franc were left unfiltered and on their lees for
this one-of-a-kind bottle. Designed by Karim Rashid to reflect the layers and
stratification of glacial soil within the 55-acre Stratus vineyard, the
deconstructed shape also traps the lees as the wine is poured - thereby
acting as a 'decanter'. It was honoured a Good Design Award from the Chicago Anthenaeum.

The wine
Harvested by hand on November 17, select rows of Cabernet Franc were bunch and berry sorted and fed into 225 l barrels by gravity for fermentation. Daily rotation of each barrel to gently extract colour, tannins and structure followed with a gentle squeeze in the basket press and further gravity flow to a combination of new and older French oak barrels. Here, the wine rested with its lees for 613 days. Monthly 'lees' stirring and no filtration have resulted in an immensely complex, compact wine of ripe, but cool climate Cabernet Franc character.
Still extremely youthful, the wine is inky on appearance and echoes the depth of colour in terms of its concentration. Blackberry, cassis, black plum, and cedar frame a rich core that offers a plush and extraordinary mouthfeel. Best enjoyed 2020 - 2037.

Impressive to see and even more so, to taste!

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.


Cabernet Franc
VQA Niagara Lakeshore
J-L Groux
Bottle size
750 mL
Serving Temperature
18 °C
Drinking Window
2020 - 2037
Harvest Date
November 17, 2017
613 days in French oak │ 25% new