2016 Reserve Pinot Noir

The second release of our reserve-tier Pinot Noir - a small lot wine made to honour our winemaking philosophy, our historic estate vineyard and the special relationship between Tantalus and artist Dempsey Bob.

Deep garnet in the glass, subtle notes of violet and wild bramble berry balanced by earthy beetroot and forest floor, brim forward as the wine opens. The palate is refined, with bright, ripe cherry, cranberry and sage, pulled together with a lush, silky finish. Great length, and only just beginning to show its charm. This wine was built to age.

The 2016 reserve follows our inaugural release in 2015, and was made in a very similar vein - but with a twist. While once again based on our small mid-slope block of Dijon Clone 667, this vintage’s “salt and pepper” components came from our 2006 plantings of Clone 777 and unique to this year, a parcel of our Clone 115 fruit. The 115 showed such remarkable presence in barrel, it needed to be included, thus making this wine an ever evolving representation of our most impressive Pinot Noir from any given year.

The 667 was fermented wild with only foot treading and incorporating 40% whole bunches. The 777 and 115 each received the same treatment but with 30% whole bunches. The wine underwent natural malolactic fermentation in the Spring of 2017 and spent 16 months in French oak (30% new) before being gently racked. It was then bottled unfined and unfiltered in the Spring of 2018. Enjoy this wine in its youth, or watch it evolve over the next decade.

110 cases made.

Learn more about our connection to artist Dempsey Bob.

Receive a Tantalus wood crate with your six-bottle Reserve Pinot Noir purchase.


93 POINTS - Beppi Crosariol, The Globe and Mail

91 POINTS - David Lawrason, WineAlign.com


The 2016 growing season started off quickly. Budbreak was record breaking and the ensuing Spring growth was rapid. Despite the early start to the season, cooling summer rains soon arrived and slowed growth down to a more normal pace.

Late summer and early fall turned warm and sunny once again, but with cooler than usual evenings the fruit was able to ripen evenly despite the warm daytime temperatures. The 2016 harvest kept us on our toes with a long, drawn out ripening phase and gave us one of the longest harvest windows to date.

With a series of warm growing seasons behind us, our dedication to thoughtfully promote a healthy, balanced vineyard is paramount. Organic nutrient additions and precise canopy and irrigation management all play a vital role. In addition, we continue to farm as sustainably as possible – without the use of herbicides or pesticides. Our honey bee apiary is thriving and we’re amazed at the diversity of resident species that can be found on our property – a true testament for us to the health of our site.