Meyer Family Vineyards
Sally and Don Harrison hosted a wonderful evening in their beautiful home to introduce 30 of their friends to the wines of Meyer Family Vineyards. It was a terrific evening of wonderful wine, delicious canapés, great conversation as well as a chance to meet the winery’s proprietors: Janice Stevens and Jak Meyer.
Jak had us all eating out of the palm of his hand as he stood and introduced each of the wines. He has a wonderfully relaxed way and a friendly smile. He is a natural people person and his passion for his wines is immediately felt as you hear him speak. He is very deferential to his winemaker, Chris Carson, putting all of the praise for the wines on to Chris’ shoulders. His explanations are clear and largely devoid of the winespeak that many find so intimidating. His wife Janice walked around the room as Jak spoke and filled glasses and provided more details about the wine. Every bit as charming as Jak, these two could probably sell any wine. But as the following tasting notes will show, these wines don’t need anything more than a taste to sell out.
Meyer Family Vineyards produces about 6,000 cases from their two Estate Vineyards on the Naramata Bench and from certain selected vineyards around the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Their wine shows up on a who’s who list of top restaurants, not just in Vancouver and the Okanagan but across the globe. Most of their wine sales are directly from the winery, and they have a unique and innovative wine club that has several options and requires relatively little purchasing to be a member. Their website www.mfvwines.com has lots of detail on how to order or join their wine club, and it is well worth checking out.
Thanks again to Sally and Don for so graciously hosting one of the best wine events of the year and to Janice and Jak introducing us to such delicious wines!
2013 Meyer Family Vineyards Gewürztraminer
This is a leaner take on the varietal that provides a lightly aromatic nose of stone fruits and spice notes. Its lighter body offers up apricot, orange and hints of 5 spice. Served very cold, it was difficult to coax out all this could offer, but that being said, it would be lovely and refreshing to enjoy on a hot deck.
$18 at the Winery
Apple, lime and hints of petroleum form the moderately aromatic nose and follow through on to the palate where they are backed up with a lovely minerality. Medium body, with a nice acidity that gives emphasis to its minerally side, particularly on the finish.
$20 at the Winery
2013 Meyer Family Vineyards Stevens Block Chardonnay
Only 113 cases of this wine were made in its first vintage from the most recently planted block of their Okanagan Falls Old Main Road Estate Vineyard. Nose of melon and almond. Background notes of marzipan add complexity to the palate which evokes apple juice poured over cantaloupe! The effect is to create a Macon-styled white which will appeal to the currently fashionable un-oaked Chardonnay crowd. (The wine does spend 5 months in neutral puncheons.)
$24 at the Winery
2012 Meyer Family Vineyards Tribute Series Chardonnay
A step up is the Tribute Series Chardonnay which also comes from the Old Main Road Estate vineyard but uses the remaining blocks, now 15 years old, to produce 550 cases. The profile is similar to the Stevens Block but here the dials are turned up. The wine spends 10 months in French oak, 33% new. This results in a richer style of wine, medium/full body, with flavours of apple, lime and honeydew melon. The acidity keeps everything in balance and provides just the right counterpoint to the slightly opulent style. Lovely balance.
$30 at the Winery (this represents terrific value for this level of quality)*
2012 Meyer Family Vineyards McLean Creek Chardonnay
From their other Estate Vineyard this wine is raised for 10 months in French Oak, 20% new. By now the house style was in evidence: nicely balanced wines that seek elegance over power. Apple dominates the fruit profile of this wine and receives supporting notes of wet stones and hints of pear. The body sits somewhere between the Tribute and the Stevens and finishes long with a mouth-watering acidity. Lovely to sip on its own, we can only imagine how delicious it would be with fish or delicately sauced pasta dishes.
$30 at the Winery
2012 Meyer Family Vineyards Okanagan Pinot Noir
Medium red to pink at the rim. Bright cherry and brown spices infuse the nose of this moderately aromatic wine. Cherry and tangy raspberry flavour the light/medium body of the wine while cracked pepper adds a note of interest to the finish. Easy drinking, it avoids some of the harsh and green notes we have found in other BC Pinots at this price point. Fruit sourced from contracted vineyards throughout the Okanagan Valley.
$25 at the Winery
2012 Meyer Family Vineyards McLean Creek Pinot Noir
Medium red, the nose produces red fruits in abundance. Cherry, cranberry and cola notes dominate the medium-bodied palate while undertones of baking spice and a faint earthiness add complexity to the satiny texture. Jak Meyer thinks this wine will develop for up to 10 years in the cellar and we found no reason to disagree as the balance of fruit and structure was just right. 15% whole clusters used; 10 months in French oak, 33% new, from Estate fruit.
$40 at the Winery
2012 Meyer Family Vineyards Reimer Pinot Noir
Medium/dark red. Nose of cherry and cranberry provides moderate aromatics. Lovely texture to the medium body, the wine has a substance to it. This wine had a similar upbringing to the McLean Creek but used purchased grapes from the Reimer Estate Vineyard. This vineyard produces a slightly more fruit forward expression and introduces hints of blueberry to go with the primary red fruits. A great Pinot to enjoy while you are waiting for your McLean Creeks to age!
$40 at the Winery