Following our visit and wine tasting at Tantalus Vineyards in October we just had to share our personal favourites with you.
Christmas shopping can be so easy and so fun if your list reads: WINE and why not it’s the perfect gift. No one ever returns a gift of wine, maybe some regift but then there’s that final happy recipient. All in all, it’s a win-win. One stop shopping. Just bring someone along with you to do the heavy lifting.
We so enjoyed our visit to Tantalus, everyone is so friendly and their tasting room is a cut above. Worth a visit if you live nearby or planning to be in Kelowna for the holidays.
Our two top favourites were a white for me, which of course means Riesling. The Tantalus 2014 Old Vines Riesling ($30.35 excluding taxes) is sold out at the wine shop unfortunately but you can still find this beauty at Marquis Wine Cellars. I just love this Old Vines Riesling and like to keep a couple of bottles on hand, chilled and ready to go for myself or company. It’s that good.
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.
For the red wine lover in the family, it’s all about Pinot Noir. On our visit in October, the Juveniles Pinot Noir was a new discovery. I’m delighted to tell you it was a big hit. I like it too and what goes better with turkey, duck or goose than Pinot Noir? 2015 Juveniles Pinot Noir ($21.65 ex. tax) is almost sold out at the wine shop but you should find it at Marquis, Liberty Point Grey, Legacy Wine. This is an anytime wine that is at an excellent price point, well worth searching for.
Made from our latest Dijon clone plantings, our Juveniles Pinot Noir was crafted with approachability in mind.
A lovely, fruit-forward style Pinot, which expresses the bright and youthful character found in our youngest blocks.
A light ruby red in colour – bramble berry pie, violet and a touch of brown sugar envelope the nose. The palate is lifted and juicy with cranberry and wild berry highlighting the red fruit profile of this wine. Bright raspberry and cherry are also present complemented by an undercurrent of mocha from the gentle French oak handling. A vein of minerality offers interest and complexity to the fresh finish.
I just have to add one more Pinot Noir to the mix because it’s a bit pricier but worth the extra splurge. The 2015 Pinot Noir is still available at the winery – and in fact is a listed product with the BC Liquor Stores so is pretty widely available – winery retail: $27.74 (excluding taxes). You will enjoy this one and it’s perfect for that little bit more special occasion.
Pinot Noir – a beautifully frustrating study in patience, precision and, above all else, trust in the vineyard. We hope you’ll see our continued faith in the terroir of our very special site shine through in our latest release.
A rich garnet in colour, the nose is bursting with lingonberry, Bing cherry and sweet anise alongside floral notes of crushed rose petal and violet. Ripe raspberry and dark plum emerge on the palate with an intriguing graphite minerality on the finish.
All sourced from our single vineyard estate, select Pinot Noir blocks were handpicked and vinified in small lots using entirely wild fermentation.
The small batches were then placed into a selection of new and seasoned French oak barriques for 12 months and blended, unfined and unfiltered, just prior to bottling. Although enjoyed in its youth we see this wine aging gracefully over the next 7 to 10 years.
All of the Tantalus wines are very affordable and really a deal given the quality of the product.
Best to call ahead to avoid disappointment. Retail prices vary at the different locations, the prices noted are the wine shop prices.