2018 Bear Chardonnay

Our Bear Chardonnay was made in a crisp and lively style and named after Tantalus proprietor Eric Savics’ eldest son, Eric - affectionately known to many over the years as “Bear”.

A pale gold in colour, this wine is bursting with aromas of sweet white blossoms, crisp granny smith apple and lemon curd. Flavours of tart mandarin and lime leaf pair up with a hints of warm butterscotch. Light and bright with a lovely creamy back palate, and all juxtaposed with a refreshing lift of acidity.

Fruit for this wine was sourced from our young gun Chardonnay block and was handpicked and vinified in small lots using entirely wild fermentation. The wine was crafted in a combination of stainless steel and neutral French barrels, ensuring the purity of the fruit was maintained with just a wisp of oak present. At only 6 years old, this young vineyard is already showing incredible potential and we are very excited to see the site evolve and develop in years to come.


90 POINTS - Anthony Gismondi & Treve Ring, Gismondi On Wine


After a cold winter with high snowfall, the growing season got off to a slower start compared to seasonal averages. True bud break took place during the first week of May; slightly later than seasonal averages. In contrast, the summer was hotter than average and sunny days made up for the late spring.

Although smoke haze from regional fires was present during parts of summer, it actually mitigated hot temperatures. The result was a slowing of the ripening phase, preventing sugar from accumulating too quickly over such a hot period. Smoke taint was a concern for some areas of the valley, however, we saw no influence on our wines. Overall our crop was slightly lower than average, leading to beautifully concentrated wines with great pedigree and ageability.