Stratus White 2016
A killer full-bodied white blend. Rich golden colour. The bouquet opens to fill a room with the heady scent of ripe peach, beeswax and pineapple. The aromas follow through to the crisp palate, where peach nectar and tropical fruit flavours are bolstered by complex savoury notes of buttered brioche and Ontario limestone. Complex and intense, with a broad and long finish.
Stratus Vineyard sits on 62 acres near the southeastern border of the Niagara Lakeshore sub-appellation. The vineyard is far enough away from the moderating influence of Lake Ontario to grow grape varieties that need warmer temperatures in the summer. At the same time, the lake’s proximity helps to protect the vines from early frost in the fall.
The vineyard soil is composed of mineral-rich layers resting on a limestone foundation. Stratus Vineyards is one of the few wineries in the world that don’t use a pump. Moving wine with pumping can introduce air and compromise flavours. Instead of pumping, they use a gravity flow system. Wine flows naturally by gravity from stainless steel or oak fermenters into carefully selected French oak barrels, where it will age under the care of the cellar master.
The Stratus White 2016 is an assemblage of five estate grown varietals: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Semillon and Gewürztraminer. The grapes are manually harvested and sorted on table by hand. The grapes then go through extended ripening, skin contact during fermentation, and 627 days of barrel ageing on lees in French oak (11% new). The blending process adds so much to this wine, allowing winemaker J-L Groux to craft something unique with each vintage.
Drinking window: 2020–2031
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
– 92 POINTS
Tasted in Feb 2020 where this rich, layered white was vying for Wine of the Year at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Ottawa (it placed close 4th). It is a full bodied blend of five varieties that were estate grown then aged in French oak barrels for just under two years. Very exotic, generously spicy aromas from the wood are joined by ripe apricot-like fruit and resinous juniper/pine-like greenness. It is full bodied, creamy and intense with a slightly sappy, bitter finish. The length excellent to outstanding.
A lovely, floral Niagara white wine blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay grapes, along with 10% Viognier. Intriguing and delicious. Pair with mild curries and spices.