2022 Bear Chardonnay

With a nod to Tantalus proprietor Eric Savics’ eldest son Eric Jr., affectionately known to many over the years as “Bear”, this wine was crafted from our youngest blocks and made in a crisp and lively style.

A glimmering green-gold in colour, the wine exhibits classic Chablis like aromas of sea breeze, oyster shell and lemon custard, alongside pear and apple crumble, while green floral notes bring intrigue to the nose. The palate is brimming with fresh acidity: big notes of honey dew melon, ambrosia apple and sweet basil are juxtaposed by a playful yuzu-like freshness and hint of orange creamsicle. A lively and fresh texture with a lovely rounded weight.

Our Bear Chardonnay has quietly emerged as a fan favourite for good reason. It‘s approachable, fruit-forward and a versatile food companion.


The harsh winter of 2021 and subsequent bud damage meant that Chardonnay crops in the North part of the Okanagan Valley were extremely scarce. As a result, we acted to thoughtfully pursue sources of Chardonnay beyond our estate borders. We were fortunate to secure three parcels of beautiful grower Chardonnay, predominantly from an organic vineyard in Osoyoos, coupled with a small parcel from Okanagan Falls and from a vineyard near our home site in East Kelowna Slopes.

Upon pressing, half of the wine was fermented wild in stainless steel tanks while the remainder was fermented in a combination of older barriques and puncheons. The wine spent 3 months on fermentation lees with only partial malolactic fermentation pursued. The focus was on capturing the first flavour window of each vineyard allowing the wine to remain fresh and vibrant like its predecessors, with just a hint of oak character.


92 points - Michael Godel, Wine Align.com
"Cracker chardonnay here from Dave Paterson and Tantalus, über fresh, crisp and in the cleanest varietal style. Easy and low alcohol (12.8 percent) but don’t be fooled because this packs a punch so in effect taking this lightly would be akin to poking the bear."

90 points - David Lawrason, Wine Align.com
"It captures well integrated apple, herbal and citrus aromas with a touch of spice. It is medium weight, a touch fleshy and sweet edged, with firm lemony acidity and some warmth. The length is excellent, there is pithy bitterness on the finish."


Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.1%
Residual Sweetness: 1.7 g/L 
pH: 3.32
Total Acidity: 6.9 g/L


    2022 was a very challenging season, but it produced some exceptional quality grapes and resulting wines. The winter of 21/22 was harsh, with many vines exhibiting primary bud damage following a cold snap of -26.5 around Christmas. Above average rainfall in May charged the soil with water and gave the vines everything they needed to hit the ground running after a long winter and late bud break. The rain continued into June meaning no irrigation was needed for the vines till much later than average and allowed the cover crop to flourish.

    Summer was mild though some hot spells in late July and early August helped push the season along. September and October were perfect for developing flavours in the grapes while not having too much sugar produced. This resulted in balanced wines with moderate alcohol. A cold snap in early November just after all the sparkling and still wines had been harvested and meant that we were able to produce our first icewine since 2017.