2018 Stratus Semillon


This is the classic partner to Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux however little known as a varietal in North America and the small number of vines in our vineyard have become immensely important to Stratus.The new vintage shows vibrant medium gold colour in the glass. The palate is dry with a pleasant tartness to balance the firm texture. Expect notes of raw honey, beeswax, mango, jasmine blossoms, and a touch of lanolin showing up on the finish.

"The 2017 season was a trooper, a monger and a facilitator for Niagara sémillon and considering how little remains in Ontario, not to mention the precarious nature of keeping it alive, well you just have to give thanks for that vintage. As for 2018 the mini streak of luck and taking advantage of the real and current situation is noted by another gift from Stratus. If 2017 was accepting of a luxe and developed sém than ’18 does little to alter that effect. J-L Groulx has again captured the lit and woke disposition by reductive smoulder while snagging fruit in its lush and fleshy state, salted as always by the mineral swell that lurks, sneaks and cuts through. Get on this one before the streak comes to an end. Drink 2021-2026. Tasted October 2020." 93 points - Michael Godel, WineAlign

Growing Conditions

The 2018 vintage allowed for varied conditions throughout the year. A moderate winter and temperate spring allowed budbreak and flowering to set in five days earlier than average; though the bud count was reduced as a result of sudden frosts in late autumn, 2017. Summer was hot and dry which allowed for even clusters, great concentration, healthy fruit, and ease in the vineyard. The head start and persistent heat matured grapes earlier than average Niagara harvests with many of the whites being picked in the forepart of September. Autumn warmth continued but significant precipitation and resulting humidity ensued, creating some pressure to resist disease. Careful tending of the vineyard and flexibility became key to bringing in healthy, ripe fruit. The red harvest began with Gamay in early October and all varieties were harvested by mid November. Two acres comprised of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot were picked for Icewine Red after midnight on November 22 when temperatures plummeted to -9 degrees celsius. This made for the earliest, complete harvest at Stratus on record.


VQA Niagara Lakeshore
J-L Groux
Bottle size
750 mL
Serving Temperature
16 °C
Drinking Window
2020 - 2028
Harvest Date
October 26, 2018
239 days in French oak │ older barrels