2019 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.

Light straw in colour, the nose is subtle and nuanced at first splash, evolving as it awakens from its two-year bottle slumber. Bright, grassy tones gradually emerge, complemented by a medley of mango, herbs and wet river rock. Slightly evolved notes of “fresh tennis ball” and lemon oil add intriguing complexity.

The palate is broader than most recent vintages, but still there is a common thread of minerality and chalky texture. Bold flavours of pink grapefruit pith, spruce tips, charred lime and early peach mark this vintage release.  This wine is an ever-changing journey and a pleasure to sip and savour. Built to age.

Our “Block 5” of 1978 plantings, sits on a north facing slope of deep, silty soils. This two-acre parcel of Clone 21B Riesling is bordered by a mature Ponderosa pine forest on its western and northern edges. The tall stand of pines buffer the late afternoon and evening sun, offering dappled light exposure and therefore slower ripening in late summer and early autumn. The fruit for our 2019 vintage was handpicked late season on October 16th, at optimal ripeness and gently whole-bunch pressed and fermented cold for 39 days. The wine spent 4 months on lees and 2 years in bottle before release. Its long cellaring capability will richly reward those who wait.

TECHNICAL INFO

Varietal: 100% Riesling
Alcohol: 13.4%
Residual Sweetness: 8.4 g/L
pH: 2.87
Total Acidity: 9.0 g/L

ACCOLADES

  • Gold Medal - National Wine Awards of Canada, July 2022
  • 95 points - David Lawrason, Wine Align.com, July 2022
    "This is another cracker good year for Tantalus Old Vines Riesling, planted on the same Pioneer Vineyard patch as the first wine grapes planted in the Okanagan in 1927. It was not riesling back then, but it sure is now. This is powerful, poised and very complex - with myriad aromas of apricot, petrol, evergreen, grapefruit, beeswax and wet stone. It is fulsome with over 13% alcohol which is high for riesling but the stony, mouthwatering acids and deep fruit rise admirably to the challenge, creating poise within the power. The focus and length are excellent to outstanding. This will live many years and be drinkable and impressive all along the way."
  • 93 points - Brad Royale, Wine Align.com, July 2022
    "Key lime pie, juniper, radish, celery, Asian pear. Pretty tasty stuff. Vibrant acidity and excellent concentration and lovely tension. Another ripping glass of Riesling from Tantalus. A must have."

  • VINTAGE NOTES

    Our 2019 growing season was not without its challenges. Winter started unusually warm and dry but took a turn late in the season with sustained temperatures below -20 C arriving in February. Vines suffered from a range of winter damage. As a result, drawn out and uneven bud break was evident in several of our vineyard pockets. Conditions turned more favourable in May allowing delayed shoots to catch up. However, rain set in towards the end of June and periods in July, keeping the vineyard team on their toes regarding crop protection and canopy work. A warm and dry August gave us ideal ripening conditions and set us up for harvest to begin on schedule.

    Dodging rain showers throughout the rest of September, harvest continued until early October when the first frost caused the vine canopy to drop and us to bring in the remaining parcels of fruit. Although yields are shy from 2019, the wines have so far emerged as beautifully nuanced with restrained alcohols and purity of fruit.