One of the first reviews I wrote was for the inaugural release of Meyer Family Vineyards‘ wines. I now have the pleasure of being presented with the latest, soon-to-be, release of their 2008 Chardonnay and 2 Pinot Noirs. For those unfamilar with the Meyer Family Vineyards, they are located on the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan. They produce a small number of cases of high quality wine each year.
Their approach to wine making is to handle the fruit gently with minimal intervention to help show the terroir of the site and to showcase the growing season of each vintage. The 2008 season was quite variable. It was a variable year with blocks of hot and cold weather mixed together. The critical ripening period from mid-August to mid-October had excellent weather with warm days and cool nights allowing the fruit flavours to develop and to keep the level of acidity up to prevent flabbiness.
The Tribute Series Chardonnay 2008, Old Main Road Vineyard, recognizes a Western Canadian for outstanding achievement in their field. This year they paid tribute to Steve Yzerman, who is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, is a 3 time Stanley Cup winner, Olympic Gold medalist, and much more. This vintage is medium lemony gold in colour. Medium intensity nose with citrus, tropical and dried fruit, butter, yeast, vanilla and butter aromas. It is dry with medium acidity and medium plus body. Flavours are citrus, dried fruit, pear, yeast, oak, vanilla and butter. It has a medium length with a green apple finish. Quite elegant.
I went to the wine maker’s tasting notes to see if there was anything I missed, or to confirm things I tasted. I did note that there was some yeasty aroma and flavour, and I read that the wine went through a partial malo-lactic fermentation and aged ten months sur lees without battonage. The lees (dead yeast cells) add additional complexity to the wine.
As this wine was recently bottled, I thought I’d let the wine breathe for a few days and re-taste it to see if there are any changes in aroma and flavour. I was very happy to see that my second tasting notes match my first tasting notes. The wine appears to be quite happy as it is, but I am sure over time it will age gracefully.
I was very pleased to taste the two Pinot Noirs, as I have a soft spot for this varietal. The Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2008, McLean Creek Road Vineyard, is medium ruby in the glass. Quite youthful nose. Medium intentisty showing red fruit, red cherry, plum strawberries, some floweriness, and vanilla. Medium acidity and tannins, with flavours again of red fruit, red cherry, strawberries, and oak. It is very “feminine” in style, and I think will become more silky as the tannins mellow a bit. Overall a very nice wine. I also tasted this wine and the other Pinot Noir after a few days exposure to air (the wines did have a cork in the bottle to prevent anything from falling into the wine spoiling them) and am pleased to note, that my notes for the pinots also matched my first tasting notes.
The Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008, Central Okanagan Vineyard is the favourite of the two Pinot Noirs. It is made in a bit more of a masculine style, offering a bit more backbone compared to the McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir. The Central Okanagan Vineyard Pinot Noir was deep ruby coloured. Medium intensity in aroma in the glass with strawberry, violets, cloves and other sweet spices, vanilla and oak. It has medium plus tannins, body and intensity on the palate. There were flavours of red fruit, red cherry, strawberry, oak and some floweriness. The tannins were quite firm and drying. With time this wine will reward you with great drinking pleasure.
I hope you have a chance to try the wines from the Meyer Family Vineyards. Their website is www.MFVwines.com.