Tantalus Vineyards2005 Riesling
This wine is the first release from Kelowna’s Tantalus Vineyards, a new winery launched by investment dealer Eric Savics and geologist Eira Thomas on one of the Okanagan’s legendary Riesling vineyards. Some of the vines were planted in 1978 by Daniel Dulik, whose family owned the vineyard for 56 years. The first winery that opened here in 1997 was Pinot Reach Cellars; its Old Vines Riesling once attracted a rave notice from British wine critic Jancis Robinson. Savics and Thomas bought the 19-hectare property, including the winery, in 2004. Busy refurbishing the winery and replanting – varieties like Bacchus are being replaced with Riesling and Pinot Noir – the new owners skipped the 2004 vintage.
Matt Holmes, the young Australian hired to make the 2005 vintage, has scored a brilliant debut with this wine, which seems inspired by the style of Clare Rieslings. The wine begins with citrus aromas, continuing with flavours of fresh limes and minerals. The bright, even racy, acidity gives the wine a crisp signature on the finish. It is a wine made for food. 88 points.
Something to watch for: An ‘Old Vines’ Riesling 2005 is scheduled for release next year. A pre-release sample that I tasted is very promising, with intense citrus fruit, more concentrated minerals and a tingling acidity. 91 points.
Reviewed July 5, 2006 by John Schreiner.
Other reviewed wines from Tantalus Vineyards
2006 Old Vines Riesling
(Okanagan Valley)John Schreiner 7/16/2007
John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.