Old Vines Riesling, Tantalus, Okanagan Valley VQA, Kelowna, BC, 2008, 12.1% abv., C$30 (Tasted Dec. 2013, Jan. 2015, and April 2021)

Riesling – such a maligned grape and so often misunderstood.  There is no valid reason for this.  It’s the most versatile varietal around – a great grape of Germany, as well as the Alsace, and first class specimens are produced around the world – including this one in Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia.

In November 2012, Jancis Robinson tasted this wine and wrote about as one of the top Canadian whites of that year.

I started with 6 bottles of this and have given away 3, but stored the rest to do comparisons over the next decade.

The 2008 Old Vines Riesling is a clear and bright, pale gold wine with light legs. On the nose, it’s gorgeous, developing and clean with pronounced intensity of wet stones, kerosene, pear, white blossom, lime and lemon zest.  A hint of honey envelops it.

The palate is pronounced and bone dry with rapier acidity and medium minus alcohol, but the lime, lime and lime.  Did I mention lime? There was loads of citrus – lemon zest and bergamot – with white peach and Anjou pear as it warmed in our glasses.  The petrol was complimented by a long finish.

This WSET Outstanding wine will last for years – if you can hide and cellar it.  The high acidity and intense fruit will enable this pronounced but balanced beauty to age for a solid decade while the TDN (tri-methyl-dihydronapthalene that offers the petrol note), will continue to grow over time.

Tasting note – January 17, 2015 (7 years)
Still a pale gold tone, the wine continues to be intense on the nose with deep kerosene, lemon, lime blossom and minerals.  The palate is dry and delicate but still pronounced with the high acidity and flavours of bergamot and lime blossom, Meyer lemon and diesel.  This time I noticed some green notes – green pineapple and some lemon grass in place of much of the intense lime.  The finish is still long.

Tasting note – April 25, 2021 (13 years)

Now a medium gold on the eyes, the nose is replete with wet mountain river stones with bushels of lime and kerosene.  The continued intensity of the citrus and rocks is surprising, but perhaps shouldn’t be.  The super dry palate still shows incredibly sharp acidity which simply confirms that I could have waited many more years to open this, my last bottle.  Lemon zest, key lime and tart pineapple nestle with sharp rocks and a minerality that seems to have no end.  If you are still holding any of this outstanding specimen, congratulations.  Wait another 5-7 years and let me know.  Or better yet, call me to help!


About winellama

I love wine...and finally decided to do something about it.
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