Old Vines Riesling
Our Old Vines Riesling is made for those seeking a wine with elegance and a sense of place.
Made exclusively from a single block of our 1978 Riesling plantings, its purity conveys all that is special about our historic, old vineyard – coupled with our team’s constant pursuit to craft world class wines.
Pale lemon in colour, the nose is brimming with a myriad of fresh citrus, bergamot flower and pine. Rich tropical notes of pineapple and guava are also present – a result of a warm growing season.
The palate is bright and intense with racy lemon zest and mandarin. Apple, passionfruit pulp and mango charm through the mid-palate before a brilliant acidity emerges and stretches the wine into a magnificently long finish. Cellared for two years before its release, this Riesling showcases the classic minerality and texture we see from this site each year.
Block 5 sits on a north/south slope of deep, silty soils. This 2 acre block is bordered by mature Ponderosa Pine forest on its western edge providing relief from the intense summer heat in the late afternoon and early evenings. The dappled sunshine allows the fruit to still ripen beautifully while maintaining the intense Riesling acidity that has become a hallmark of this block.
Harvested from a handful of rows on October 8th, the wine was inoculated after a short settling period and subsequent racking of the juice. It was then fermented to almost dry just leaving over 8 grams of sugar to thoughtfully balance the high-toned, mineral-laden acidity.
The 2014 growing season has been classified as one of the warmest on record. Interestingly enough, it produced an outcome that most of us don’t normally associate with hot weather – a slowing of the grape ripening process. This happens when daytime temperatures rise above 35C. The vines shift into a protective mode and go dormant.
A chilly September finished out the ripening phase in a truly, cool season fashion. As a result, the wines from this vintage are decidedly bright and complex.
Like all of our wines, this Pinot Noir was grown and produced at our historic, 75-acre estate in South East Kelowna. We continue to farm as sustainably as possible without the use of herbicides or pesticides.
PLATINUM MEDALIST – 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada
94 POINTS – “Such a beautiful wine, made from one of the famous plantings of 1978. Appley, nutty and precise with some waxy notes and a lovely lemony core. There’s really high acidity but it integrates beautifully into the complex fruit. Powerful and expressive with real personality.”
Jamie Goode, March 2017, WineAnorak.com
93 POINTS – “Pretty much the quintessence of balance, with ripe aromas of honeysuckle and peach on the nose, a generous presence on the palate, yet a remarkable energy and great mineral backbone. Splendid.
Remy Charest, July 2017, WineAlign.com
92 POINTS – “The Old Vines has assumed a position of being the benchmark riesling of the Okanagan. And indeed it is riveting stuff! The nose leaps from the glass, with complex mineral, petrol, spice, nougat and baked pear fruit. (For riesling aficionados I thought of the rieslings by Markus Molitor in Germany’s Mosel Valley). It is powerful, very tart, stony and dry with mouthwatering acidity. There is an interesting slightly oxidative white mushroom note on the finish. Excellent length. Not everyone’s cuppa, but it has great tension, depth and complexity.”
David Lawrason, June 2017, WineAlign.com
92 POINTS – “One of the iconic BC labels, ‘Old Vines’ is made from the first lot of riesling plantings (1978) from a single 2-acre plot. Block 5 is on a slope of deep, silty soils, bordered on the western edge by a stand of Ponderosa Pine that act as a sunblock from warm Okanagan summer sun.
Only 8.1 g/l of residual sugar are deftly handled to balance out the 9.8 g/l of total acidity. The fruit is farmed sustainably, cropped low and cellared for two years before release. This savoury riesling certainly is a stunner and among the best yet from Tantalus.
Broken stones, wild herbs, earthy grasses and eraser notes undercut a lifted tone of lime leaf and lime pith, green apple, verbena and tight pear. The acidity is nervy and electric, vibrating along the medium, sun-dappled palate, until the brisk, grippy finish. Minerality rings throughout, from first whiff to lingering, lime pith finish. You can enjoy this now with herb roasted chicken but its future is bright and many years down the road.”
Anthony Gismondi and Treve Ring, July 2017, GismondiOnWine.com
92 POINTS – “Riesling specialist Tantalus rarely disappoints, and this Old Vines Riesling is another classic, with an intense, fresh apple nose, backed with a light leesy note and wet stone minerality. Very clean and fresh on the palate, with firm acidity and a balanced finish that feels dry. Excellent.”
Craig Pinhey, July 2017, WineAlign.com