Home / Tantalus, Bear Riesling Okanagan Valley | The Good Wine Shop
Tantalus, Bear Riesling Okanagan Valley 2020
Citrus and stone fruit, off-dry yet crisp, residual is beautifully judged to give an approachable yet textured and citrussy linear aspect. Heaps of super charged lime balanced with a stony mineral line.
This, their flagship Riesling, is a BC classic for a very good reason. From plots around their Kelowna estate vineyard, including some dating back to their 1978 old vine plantings, this was harvested in two batches (Oct 7 and 23), whole bunch pressed, with each parcel fermented separately in stainless before being blended.
Tantalus is based in Kelowna, looking down onto the lake. Eric Savics, a stockbroker, bought the property in 2003, which had previously been known as Pinot Reach Cellars. Savics made a lot of changes in 2004, and the first Tantalus release was 2005.
The history of the Tantalus property goes back to 1927 when the Pioneer Vineyard was established, planted with Vitis lambrusca varieties. The vineyard was then bought by Marin Dulik, who as vineyard manager was allowed to buy it in stages from the then owner in the 1940s. Dulik sold the crop as both wine and table grapes.
In 1978, Marin’s son Den Dulik began planting vinifera, and one of the vineyards he planted was with Riesling. It was with the Clone 21B Riesling, and the inspiration for this was Dr Helmut Becker, as this was part of his famous experimental trials. Becker, a professor from Germany’s famous Geisenheim research institute, visited the valley in 1976. He was blown away by the potential of the Okanagan, particularly for white wine production. Yet at the time it was all hybrid vines. In what became known as the ‘Becker Project’, he oversaw the importation and planting of some 27 different vinifera varieties, including this Riesling clone, which has done very well.
Tantalus is therefore one of the oldest vinifera vineyards in Canada. Clone 21B from St Urbanshof forms the backbone of Tantalus’ most famous wine: the Old Vine Riesling. In 1983 Dulik planted some Clone 93 Pinot Noir from Germany, which is now used to make sparkling with (it’s not a great still Pinot Noir clone). His daughter Susan began selling wines from the property under the Pinot Reach label in 1997.
The focus at Tantalus is now solely on Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They are grown in 9 blocks, totalling 37 acres. Soils are mainly silt over gravels.
We deliver throughout the United Kingdom and the European Union and all delivery charges for these destinations are enabled in the checkout. We also provide the option to collect from any of our shops.
All UK mainland orders should be delivered within 2-3 working days.
For more information on UK delivery please click here and for EU deliveries please click here.